Athlete to row two oceans

A TALENTED athlete from Topsham is preparing himself for a challenge that even the likes of Olympic gold medallist-rowers Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent may find difficult.

A TALENTED athlete from Topsham is preparing himself for a challenge that even the likes of Olympic gold medallist-rowers Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent may find difficult.David Brooks, of Swains Court, plans to row across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by himself - a voyage of more than 12,000 miles which will last 13 months.The 23-year-old will leave the Canary Islands on December 6 and cross the Atlantic to Antigua, then row the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and cross the Pacific to Australia. He hopes to raise �10,000 for the Guide Dogs charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and Sidmouth Lifeboat."I have never been someone who backs down from a challenge," said David. "In principle, if you want to take up a task like this, it is how you prepare for it mentally."David, who will undertake the marathon trip in a customised boat, said he has no rowing experience but has used a kayak before. He added: "Hopefully, it should be a case of adapting slightly."For the Atlantic leg of his journey, the first part of the trip, he will take part in a race alongside other people."There are other teams taking part at that stage. Being under the supervision of the race should be beneficial for me, notably from a safety perspective if anything were to go wrong."It also means that I could gain help and advice."David is inviting people to his maiden trip from Topsham Quay on Sunday, June 7, followed by a barbecue at the Lighter Inn.Visit David's website at: www.davebrookssolo.co.uk.