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Oar Blimey transatlantic rowers aim to hit land this week

Posted onPosted on 3rd Mar

Mansfield brothers-in-law George Nelson and Russ Davis are close to completing their remarkable three-month long transatlantic charity row.

Aiming to raise £250,000 for dementia charities, the duo have less than 250 miles to go to reach land  and complete their bid to row unsupported from Portugal to the Caribbean.

They have been at sea for more than 13 weeks in the ‘tiny’ Innovation Nottinghamshire Memory Boat and say that after spending three months on deck with only two metres of space to crawl around, it will be interesting to see how they cope standing up and using their legs again.

Known as Oar Blimey, the duo set off from Portugal on 1st December. They had been aiming for Saint Maarten in the Caribbean, but because of continuing challenging weather conditions and limited food supplies, they have re-routed to aim for Antigua.

George posted on Facebook this weekend: “We’re feeling absolutely brilliant and canny wait to step foot on dry land again.

“The north-east wind is nudging us more southward than we’d ideally want to go, so we’re hoping for a shift to southwest winds in the next few days to realign our course and position us for entering Falmouth Harbour in Antigua.
“To those who predicted our finish next week, your guess is on point! We may complete on Wednesday, but a more realistic timeframe suggests Thursday or Friday. As we approach Antigua, we’ll be vigilant for land around 50 miles offshore.
“And guess what; we had a little visitor! A seagull attempted to land on the boat a few times but failed, although eventually found its way on to the working oar blade! The poor thing looked exhausted. After a brief rest, it took off once more.
“Russ and I feel very much part of this marine wilderness. The creatures that have approached us are countless. The dorado fish, which we first saw after leaving Gran Canaria, have followed our journey all the way across the Atlantic and continue to swim alongside the boat. We’re humbled to have been given the opportunity to interact with such beautiful wildlife in their natural environment.”
Family and friends have set off for Antigua (below) ready to welcome the two rowers.
George and Russ – known as Oar Blimey – 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 – and hope to complete their marathon row in mid-March.
The two men had no experience of a rowing challenge, although George did take part in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race in 2015-16. Russ had no previous experience of being at sea.


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

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