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Norfolk chartered surveyor rowing 3000 miles across Atlantic to support mental health charities

Harry Hearn, Alex Soskin, Ed Batchelor and Tom Phillips will be rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, Picture: supplied by Tom Phillips

Harry Hearn, Alex Soskin, Ed Batchelor and Tom Phillips will be rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic, Picture: supplied by Tom Phillips

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A chartered surveyor is part of a four-man rowing team hoping to break a world record and raise £200,000 for mental health charities.

Tom Phillips is taking part in the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic race across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean.

Mr Phillips, from Great Massingham, is a chartered surveyor at Brown and Co property consultants in King’s Lynn.

The ‘Oardacity’ crew includes his close friends, Harry Hearn, Alex Soskin and Ed Batchelor, and they will be rowing two hours on, two hours off in rotation in a 28ft Rannoch R45 boat.

He said: “We are rowing the Atlantic with the aim of raising awareness and much-needed funds to support the mental health services provided by two charities we are strongly affiliated to - Mind and the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, an international non-governmental organisation, dedicated to serving the world’s oppressed and marginalized children.

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“Our aim is to raise £200,000 to be split between the charities.”

Mental Health Week ran from May 18 to 25 and Mr Phillips added: “We are passionate about driving a change in the taboo/stigma around mental health and bringing some much-needed awareness and understanding to it.

“Be it through isolation, anxiety, depression, financial pressures, substance abuse, grief, eating disorders and more, coronaviruzs has had a significant impact on the mental health of men, women and children, the impacts of which will outlast the virus.”

With the current lockdown measures the team has had to be creative with its training with farm machinery, weighted shopping bags, wine bottles and even girlfriends being used in the absence of not being able to get out on the boat and gyms being closed.

The challenge starts on December 12, and the rowers will endure sleep deprivation, dehydration, huge calorie deficits, hallucinations, salt sores, 60ft waves and physical and mental exhaustion. Their aim is to win the race and break the world record of 29 days and 15 hours.

The crew is looking for both corporate partners and sponsors - for more information, visit www.oardacity.com and www.gofundme.com/f/oardacity2020.


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