Seeing a moonbow is highlight for Sankey rower

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IT was a case of ‘Eat, sleep, row, repeat’ for this Winwick rower as he tackled the 3,000 mile journey across the Atlantic ocean.

Despite having never been in a rowing boat before, Matt Inglesby conquered the challenge alongside his seven team mates in 32 days, 22 hours, 31 minutes and 25 seconds.

It meant the group missed out on the world record by 20 hours but the 21-year-old said he was delighted his heroic efforts had helped raise more than £8,000 for his friend Kerry Greenfield, from Widnes, in the hope of helping her walk again.

The former Great Sankey High School pupil said: “It was awesome and when I got to the finish line in Barbados I didn’t want to stop.

“Everyday was just eat, sleep, row, repeat and I enjoyed the simplicity of that.

“My friends and family had been tracking the boat online throughout so they knew more about it than I did at times.”

During the journey from Gran Canaria to Barbados, Matt had to endure four days of seasickness where he could not eat anything, searing temperatures and a red level storm with waves at an estimated height of two or three-storeys high sending them 100 miles in the wrong direction.

The Crossfit Faction gym instructor added: “We were so focussed on stopping the boat from capsizing you don’t think about anything else at the time but if we had been knocked into the water we would have been swept away.

“It was a big enough storm to make our skipper worry and he’s done eight crossings and said it was the worst he had seen.

“But there were plenty of highlights too like seeing sun rises and sets, a moonbow (a rainbow at night) which is one of the rarest things you can see on an ocean rowing boat and dolphins, a few turtles and being hit by flying fish.”

The Everton fan hoped to raise £3,000 from sponsorship cash but said he was shocked to find out in 30 days the total had jumped to more than £8,000 to help Kerry, who was born with spina bifida occulta with tethered cord syndrome, pay for an operation to help her walk again.

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