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Oar Blimey rowers knocked over for second time

Posted onPosted on 20th Jan

Unlucky transatlantic charity rowers from Mansfield suffered their second knock down of their marathon voyage when they hit rough seas again.

Already struggling because unseasonal south-west winds are pushing them back on their journey from Portugal to Sint Maarten,  George Nelson and Russ Davis – known as Oar Blimey – then ran into strong northerly winds.
The Mansfield brothers-in-law, who are attempting the unsupported 3,500-mile challenge to raise £250,000 to help two dementia charities,  reported: “Well what an adventurous journey we’re on! Despite days of slow progress, we were optimistic for new beginnings.
“However, the strong northerly winds had other ideas and soon whipped the sea up into a frenzy! With waves reaching 8m high, and posing a serious threat by turning our boat sideward into the incoming waves, we faced the risk of capsizing in the dark, so decided to deploy the para anchor once again.”
George continued: “At some point during the night a wave hit us, leading to our second knock down. I ended up getting rolled over on to the port side cabin wall, and Russ ended up on top of me! As we levelled Russ, dazed and still half asleep, asked: ‘What happened there? Are you alright?’ Thankfully being at para anchor was the right call to make.
“Daybreak revealed the trip line (which collapses the parachute on our anchor) had wrapped and tangled itself around our rudder, leaving us unable to steer. The only solution was for me to jump into the water, swim under the boat, and untangle the mess – not easy to do in big seas and 18 knot winds.
“Putting aside the fear factor of sharks and everything else I did it, but got hit on the head by the boat as it turned in a wave. But I’m OK, there wasn’t any blood.
“And while Russ was adjusting the rudder inside the boat, it craftily turned 180° so consequently when the boat recoupled it was facing the wrong way, forcing us to row without steering control. You really couldn’t make these things up; the unexpected twists in our journey just keep on coming. It’s a series of surprises for us out here!
“Rest assured that, despite our obstacles, we’re doing absolutely fine out here.”
The drama had been preceded by a night of intense winds and turbulent seas the previous day with the northerly winds creating big rolling waves, driving the rowers  south when they needed to go west.
The Innovation Nottinghamshire Memory Boat became home to little fish ‘flying around like darts throughout the night’.
“They flew over the boat, into the boat, and even managed to hide in the boat,” reported the rowers. “Sadly we discovered these two little casualties on deck at daybreak this morning.”
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