by Tom Elliott
Durham alumnus David Hosking MBE and his ocean rowing team are attempting arguably the world’s hardest rowing race this June.
Their aim is not only to win, but also to break the world record for circumnavigating Great Britain in a rowing boat.
The 2013 GB Rowing Race departs from Tower Bridge at 0800 hrs on Saturday 1st June. It involves a non-stop, unsupported circumnavigation of Great Britain.
Only two crews have ever completed this challenge before and the record currently stands at 26 days, 21 hours and 14 minutes. Team Hallin believe that they are in with a fighting chance of both winning the overall race and breaking the record.
The boat, Hallin Marine II, is skippered by David Hosking MBE, a Durham University alumnus and father of London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Sophie Hosking, who graduated from Trevelyan College in 2007. In 2011 Team Hallin Marine (again skippered by David Hosking) broke the east-west trans-Atlantic ocean rowing record by completing the crossing in just under 32 days.
The remaining three members of the team are Neil Ward, an offshore oil worker and high altitude mountaineer, Jullian Bellido, a fibre optic engineer and Commonwealth cyclist from Gibraltar, and Stuart Chamberlayne, an ex-member of the Parachute Regiment from Surrey.
Team Hallin’s Shore Support Team consists of Louise Hosking (David’s wife), also a Durham graduate and Executive Officer at the SOAS’s Middle East Institute; Tom Elliott, a fourth-year Geoscience student currently at Durham; and Richard Hosking (David’s brother), a Commonwealth rower who has completed a round-Britain powerboat race and several offshore sailing challenges. Joining them are Peter Woodall and Dr. Benedict Phillips who offer impartial weather and medical advice.
As the race is designed to be an unsupported event, the Shore Support Team will have no physical contact with Hallin Marine II. Their role is to be the point of contact for the team’s families along with routing and medical advice while the team row 24 hours a day for the 2,000 miles around Britain’s coastline.
As with their 2011 Atlantic crossing, Team Hallin are raising money for the forces charity Combat Stress.
To follow Team Hallin’s progress in this ambitious and extraordinary journey, visit www.teamhallin.co.uk where, after the race start, their position around the course will be shown.