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Rowers near their final destination in Mauritius after rowing from Geraldton for Parkinson’s awareness

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
The crew have been rowing for just over 57 days through rain, hail and shine.
Camera IconThe crew have been rowing for just over 57 days through rain, hail and shine. Credit: Anna Cox

Four rowers who set off from Geraldton almost two months ago in a quest to cross the Indian Ocean to raise money to fight Parkinson’s disease are nearing their destination in world-record timing.

Friday marks Chris Cleghorn, Ben Mann, Allan Huntly and Steve Easter’s 57th day of rowing the 5800km trip to Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, in their 29ft boat named Goldie. The crew set off from Geraldton on May 11.

There are currently 1000 nautical miles between the crew and their final destination, which will see the current record of 67 days broken if the crew complete the journey in the next nine days.

The expertise of Mr Cleghorne and Mr Huntly, who have previously rowed the Atlantic, and Mr Mann, having six Sydney to Hobart races under his belt, has helped the crew in their voyage.

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The feat is being done in the name of Parkinson’s disease, so far raising $29,639 of their $100,000 target, which will go towards research and raising awareness of the disease.

“When you surf down a wave it’s kind of a yee-haw moment, you relish being in the adventure and the environment. It can be really hostile, but at the same time it’s both exhilarating and brings home the real adventure of what we’re doing,” Mr Cleghorne said.

The routine has been mastered, with the rowers taking turns to row in pairs for two hours, then rest for two hours — but not without a salami break every morning.

The boat is 6ft-wide (182cm), with the only bed two-thirds the size of a double bed, and is where the crew have been resting, cooking, eating, navigating, and communicating with the outside world.

To follow their journey visit https://www.ior23.com/

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