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Double celebration for Oar Blimey charity transatlantic rowers

Posted onPosted on 17th Jan

Transatlantic charity rowers George Nelson and Russ Davis have passed the ‘2,000-miles to go’ mark as they bid to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean, from Portugal to Sint Maarten.

The Mansfield brothers-in-law, who are aiming to raise £250,000 for dementia charities, have been struggling to make headway in the past few days on their 3,500-mile challenge, after unseasonal winds blow them backwards.

But their frustrations were put to one side as the duo – part of team Oar Blimey – celebrated the milestone and also Russ’s birthday as they tried to make progress on their tiny Nottinghamshire Innovation Memory Boat.

George joked: “I sang an ‘oarsome’ rendition of Happy Birthday to Russ… he’s got a large family size packet of M&Ms to munch his way through as a birthday treat!

“He opened his cards at breakfast when we had posh pork and beans; a change from the usual porridge and muesli! Russ says ‘thanks for all the cards and messages’.”

The usual trade winds, which blow from the north-east in the Atlantic at this time of year, are notably absent and south-west are pushing the rowers back.

They reported earlier this week: “We deployed our para anchor again this morning after 15 hours of rowing yielded a mere 10 miles – and we’re now drifting backwards due to the strong opposing winds! Oh well, this challenge was never going to be easy on us!

“During our night row, we watched as Dorado fish hunted smaller prey, witnessing a captivating circle of life as flying fish skilfully evaded the boat’s disturbance.”

George and Russ set off on a three-month adventure of a lifetime on 1st December, aiming to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean and raise £250,000 for two dementia charities. They will each row for two hours at a time and then rest in between.

The 3,500-mile challenge began in front of a small group of supporters in Portugal and the duo want to reach Sint Maarten in the Caribbean.

Team Oar Blimey are rowing in a Rannoch Adventure R20, which is just 6.5m long and 1.2m wide, in their bid to help Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure and Ladybrook Enterprises.

The rowers can be tracked at or download the YB Races app and add their race, “Oar Blimey Atlantic Ocean Challenge 2023”.

To find out more about the rowing challenge or to help support the cause, visit where you can make a donation or find them on Facebook at