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Transatlantic rowers have a whale of a time!

Posted onPosted on 28th Jan

Transatlantic charity rowers George Nelson and Russ Davis have again enjoyed better weather conditions as they aim to row 3,500 miles across the ocean in aid of two dementia charities – and had the company of a minke whale along the way.

The Mansfield brothers-in-law, who recently passed the halfway point, aim to row unsupported from Portugal to Sint Maarten/

After many days of unseasonal winds and setbacks, they have enjoyed a couple of good days making good progress.

Known as Oar Blimey, they posted on Saturday: “Today, we’ve been blessed with a playful (but camera shy) Minke whale swimming around the boat.

“When it breached, it resembled a giant, grey space hopper, surpassing the boat in size! It hung around for quite some time, just checking us out.
“We’ve covered 47 miles today. What a fantastic and memorable day aboard the Innovation Nottinghamshire Memory Boat.”
On Sunday they added: “Yesterday we were so caught up with the minke whale sighting that we overlooked mentioning we had passed our eighth waypoint.
“Today, the powerful northeast wind has driven us along nicely; and we might even finish with a whopping 50 miles under our oars, despite the rowing beginning quite tough for us earlier. The waves were hitting us side-on and we were getting tossed about quite violently (with regular soakings every few minutes until it calmed down around midnight).
“Afterwards, we dedicated ourselves to some serious rowing, focusing on our new minimum daily target (which is 35 miles now).”
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