Sappers-Advanced watermanship training!

A team of four army commandos known as Commando Joe is attempting to break the world record for rowing 3,118-nautical miles across the North Atlantic. The current world record for the crossing stands at 55 days and remains unbroken for over 100 years. The team rowing under the name, Team Hesco hopes to raise over £100,000 for charity by taking part in the challenge.

Captain Pete Rowlands, 131 Independent Commando Squadron; Captain Mark Waterson, 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD); Staff Sergeant Ben Fouracre, 59 Independent Commando Squadron; and Sapper Charlie Martell 131 Independent Commando Squadron, all of the Royal Engineers, will attempt the gruelling Ocean Fours 2006 Atlantic Rowing race.

The race, which starts on 10 June 2006, will make history as it is the first rowing race ever to take place on the North Atlantic Ocean. The route from New York, USA, to Falmouth, UK is also the first time an Atlantic rowing race has ever crossed the finish line on the UK mainland.

Team member Charlie Martell explains: “The North Atlantic is widely recognised as one of the most formidable stretches of water in the world which is why this race has never been attempted before. We will face many challenges including rough seas and adverse weather conditions. Being confined to the tiny boat for the duration of the journey will be both mentally and physically testing.”

The team is being sponsored by Hesco Bastion, which provides specialist defensive equipment for servicemen and civilians living and working in war zones around the world. Hesco Bastion’s sponsorship of the team will allow the money raised from the challenge to go to charity.

Team Hesco has already raised £50,000 of the £100,000 target for Meningitis Trust, the UK’s leading meningitis charity. They chose to support the charity after team member Pete Rowlands lost his teenage son to meningitis three years ago. Pete says: “When I lost my son, the Meningitis Trust was a tremendous support to me and family. This challenge is for Gareth, but the funds raised will allow the Meningitis Trust to continue providing ongoing support to others affected by this terrible disease.”

To sponsor the team, log on to


For further information please contact:
Emi Spinner, Press Officer at the Meningitis Trust, on 01453 768006, mobile 07968 480 336 or email

Or visit the website at

For further information and images of team Hesco, or if you would like to sponsor the team, log on to

• Commando Joe is raising money for the Meningitis Trust by undertaking three ‘extreme challenges’ over a period of three years. The fundraising target is £100,000
• The first challenge involved three members of the team skiing to the Magnetic North Pole in April 2005. The 320-mile journey was completed in a record-breaking nine days, 17 hours and 39 minutes
• The third challenge will involve a race through one of the world’s great deserts
Looks like a worthy cause, sod doing it on an improvised raft, most of them don't make it across finger lake and back.

To sponsor the team, log on to
Pete Rowlands is a top bloke & a bloody fit ol' bugger to boot.

good luck to them.
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