Dubai: Lee Felton, a Dubai teacher, hopes to inspire his students by undertaking a 3,000 mile trip rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness about human trafficking.
The British national is part of a three-man rowing team, which is gearing up to complete the epic trip rowing across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera (Canary Islands) to Antigua.
“I wanted to give myself a challenge, push myself to my limits and, most importantly, help raise awareness for human trafficking,” Felton told Gulf News.
The team will set out to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic unaided for around 40 days and 40 nights, where they will row in pairs in two-hour shifts 24 hours a day in an attempt to raise over Dh600,000.
The fearless three — who are Felton, 30, Tom Hodgson, 41, and Sean Lannon, 31 — have raised more than Dh250,000 of the Dh600,000 initial target they need to fund the trip and compete in what is known as ‘The World’s Toughest Race’.
To prepare for the big challenge, which will take place in December, Felton is putting in two hours a day on the rowing machine. He goes five times a week to the gym and he tries to get out on the water twice a week.
When asked about some of the concerns he has regarding the challenge he said: “Forty foot waves, tropical storms, sleep deprivation, sharks, whales, container ships, sweltering heat and the psychological challenges of living and working in a turbulent natural environment.”
By taking this challenge Felton said he hopes to inspire his students to believe in themselves.
“Believe in yourself, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Things are tough for a reason. Strive to be the best person you can be,” he said.
The race starts in early December to coincide with the end of the hurricane season and to get the most benefit from the easterly trade winds and Atlantic currents.
Space on board is so limited there are no bathroom facilities, limited cooking ability and the team sleep in a space smaller than a single bed.
The race generates publicity in over 40 countries across the globe, with a reach greater than half a billion people. The team is looking for corporate sponsors who want to put their logo on their webpage, clothing, and on the boat itself.
The main reason for rowing across the Atlantic is to raise money and awareness for our two chosen charities - Rape Crisis England & Wales and Sport For Freedom
Both charities provide services and support for victims of the type of abuse often ignored or overlooked in the media - women and children who have been subjected to rape and sexual violence, and people who have been mistreated, abused and displaced from their home as a result of human trafficking.