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Transatlantic rowers Oar Blimey re-route for Antigua

Posted onPosted on 22nd Feb

It’s been another eventful week for Mansfield’s transatlantic charity rowers George Nelson and Russ Davis as they continue their remarkable challenge to row around 3,500-miles unsupported from Portugal to the Caribbean in aid of two dementia charities.

The brothers-in-law, who hope to raise £250,000, now have less than 600 miles to go to reach their target – and seeing family and friends again for the first time since the beginning of December – after more than 12 weeks rowing at sea in the ‘tiny’ Innovation Nottinghamshire Memory Boat.

After setting off from Portugal on 1st December, they had been aiming for Saint Maarten in the Caribbean. However, because of continuing challenging weather conditions and limited food supplies, they have re-routed to aim for Antigua.

George explained: “All things considered, we aren’t tied to an event dictating our arrival in St Maarten; we’re just two ordinary (heavily bearded) guys from Mansfield, motivated to row across the Atlantic to help those living with dementia.

“Our daily food intake has reduced from 5,000 to 3,000 kcal and, even without scales, it’s pretty obvious that we’ve each lost over a stone in weight.
“And whilst we could push on to St Maarten, we’d be perilously close to running out of food completely; the risk is too great.
“So we’ve chosen to redirect our route to the nearby island of Antigua. Not only will this reduce the distance by 80 miles but, more importantly, it’ll get us across the Atlantic three days sooner.
“Opting to reroute allows us to once again enjoy a higher daily calorie intake. This will manifest in us having extra energy to navigate from the Atlantic currents into the Caribbean waters, which will require additional oar effort in the final stretch.
“We’ll focus on rerouting our tracker to Falmouth Harbour in Antigua, so that you can continue to follow our journey.”
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