CHRISTMAS will be spent on a boat in the Atlantic for one Leamington man.
But it won’t be cocktails on a sun lounger for Tony Sheridan – he will be rowing towards a world record.
The father of two is part of a ten man crew aiming to row 3,000 miles from Gran Canaria to Barbados in 30 days to raise money for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.
The wife of the boat’s skipper Roy Finlay has MS and he regularly takes on challenges to raise money for charity. Tony met Roy when they both competed in a ‘six marathons in six days’ event and when a seat on the boat became free, the 47 year-old jumped at the opportunity.
The crew is made up of eight British men, one South African and a Greek man who is hoping to set his own record as the first Greek ever to row the Atlantic.
They will spend 30 days on a catamaran which Tony describes as ‘the size of a large mini bus’, eating, sleeping and rowing. Four people at one time will row for around two hours while the others take a break.
Tony, who works part-time as a spin class instructor at the Nuffield Health gym in Warwick, will not only be at sea for Christmas but will also miss his son’s 18th birthday in December.
He told The Observer: “We will have satellite phones on board with us so although I’ll be away from my family, we’ll still be able to talk.
“We start rowing on December 5 and are hoping to make it to Barbados by January 4. Roy has done the journey before and missed out on the record by a matter of hours!
“We’re hoping to be about two thirds of the way through by Christmas Day.
“I’m really looking forward to being on the boat at night – the sea and the stars and no light pollution should be a once in a lifetime experience.
“We’ll be eating wet food that has been vacuum packed and will be making our own drinking water from sea water. I’m expecting to be a few pounds lighter when we get to Barbados as we will be calorie deficient every day.”
The team are hoping to earn world records for the fastest Atlantic crossing, most miles rowed in 24-hours, fastest multi hull to cross the Atlantic, fastest 10 man crossing and most consecutive 100 mile days rowed.
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tony-Sheridan2 to donate.