Sunderland men set for 3,000 mile rowing challenge across the Atlantic in honour of fellow soldiers and veterans

Two Wearside soldiers are getting ready for the challenge of a lifetime as part of a crew which will row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 10:14 am
Captain John Ford, Derek Spence, Sergeant John Adams and Colour Sergeant John Adams are preparing for their challenge.

Colour Sergeant Colin Corfield, 43, from Southwick, and Sergeant John Adams, 49, from Farringdon, will be part of the four-strong team to enter the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The Scots Guards will be joined by their colleague Captain John Ford, 47, and veteran Derek Spence, 63, when they set out across the sea on December 12 – they expect the task to take 34 days, meaning they will miss out on spending Christmas and New Year with their families.

They will be powering a seven metre-long rowing boat, The Atlantic Guardsman, as they use the race to raise funds for The Scots Guards Charity, which provides assistance to serving and retired soldiers and their families, with the regiment backing the men in their task.

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They have set themselves a target of £100,000, with more than £3,000 already in the kitty thanks to supporters for their Row For Heroes camaign.

Their fundraising drive has seen them visit Sunderland Airshow with their boat, with Colin and John hoping their home city will get behind them to back their adventure.

Colin said: “At the moment, we’ve been doing a lot of cardio and lifting in the gym and we know we’re going to have to do so much rowing.

“It’s going to be a test of endurance.

“We can’t wait and are looking forward to doing it, even though we’re not going to see our families across Christmas and New Year.

“But it’s a great challenge and we hope to raise lots of money."

The route will take the men from San Sebastian,La Gomera, in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda.

The challenge is hosted annually and brings together up to 30 teams from across the world.

The team can be sponsored by clicking here and more about the challenge can be found by visiting

They have also set up for people to follow their story.