Burton Latimer teacher to row across the Atlantic solo

Rob Gill, who is rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, pictured with his boat in Corby town centre.
Rob Gill, who is rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, pictured with his boat in Corby town centre.

A teacher from Burton Latimer will test himself against the might of the Atlantic Ocean when he takes on a 3,000-mile challenge in December.

Rob Gill, 49, lost his dad to cancer five years ago and since then he has embarked on a series of escalating fundraising missions to help raise money for Cancer Research UK.

His latest – rowing from the Canary Islands to Antigua – is undoubtedly the biggest and in completing it Mr Gill hopes to raise £100,000 for charity.

Mr Gill said: “I’m definitely stepping out of my comfort zone.

“I’ll be rowing unsupported against storms, giant waves, constant physical exertion and mental fatigue.”

Although Mr Gill will be unsupported in his mission, he is taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which comes around every two years. Although some boats are rowed by teams of two or more, Mr Gill is taking on the solo challenge.

He said: “I’ve been really pleased with how supportive people have been.

“I have been collecting money and raising awareness in Corby and Kettering, and I was also at Bosworths Garden Centre.

“Oundle Town Rowing Club has also been really good to me by training me up. I can practice rowing all I want on a rowing machine but it will be nothing like actually being out on the water.”

Mr Gill will be in a seven-metre boat during his challenge, which has to contain all the food and water he needs.

Taking on additional supplies during the race results in a forfeit. The boat is self-righting in the event of a capsize and it also contains communications equipment.

A website, which is being regularly updated, has been set up so people can follow Mr Gill’s progress in the run-up to the event and can be found at www.atlanticinspire.com.

Alternatively, to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/atlanticinspire.