Tight finish in Cross Atlantic rowing race

Posted on February 16, 2008 by


AFTER rowing more than 3000 nautical miles in 76 days, an Australian and a Canadian are set for a photo finish in the epic Atlantic Rowing Race.

Sydney man Pete Collett, 32, is in a race for the finish line with his only other solo competitor, Canadian Paul Attalla, as both draw close to reaching shore in Antigua in the West Indies.

The rowers are racing each other 5550 km across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands.

An update sent just before 8am (AEDT) today by Collett’s wife, Louise Canny, puts the Sydneysider 14 nautical miles (26km) ahead of his Canadian competitor.

With just 45 nautical miles (83km) to go, Collett is expected to reach the finish line, Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, at 9am (AEDT) tomorrow.

Canny, who wed her adventuring husband just six months ago, and Collett’s parents, Peter and Mary, are eagerly awaiting his arrival in Antigua.

“The race has increased in excitement and intensity in the last few days,” Ms Canny said in her update.

“Pete has overcome a series of health problems during the race, the most serious of which was a potentially life threatening infection called cellulitis, which usually requires antibiotics and often admission to hospital.

“Fortunately, Pete responded to onboard oral antibiotics.”

The two rowers are completely self-sufficient on the open waters, carrying all their own supplies, food and water.

Their boats have no motors or sails and are powered purely by musclepower.

Collett is aiming to raise $200,000 for Alzheimer’s Australia through his efforts, after an experience of Alzheimer’s disease in his family.

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