Brave Topsham rower completes Atlantic Ocean challenge
AN INTREPID Topsham athlete has completed a fundraising challenge where he rowed more than 4,000 miles across one of the world s largest oceans. After spending 78 days in the choppy seas of the Atlantic Ocean, Dave Brooks arrived in Antigua recently, the
AN INTREPID Topsham athlete has completed a fundraising challenge where he rowed more than 4,000 miles across one of the world's largest oceans.
After spending 78 days in the choppy seas of the Atlantic Ocean, Dave Brooks arrived in Antigua recently, the finish point of the Woodvale Atlantic Race.
The 24-year-old, who took part in the event to raise money for Guide Dogs, the RNLI and Sidmouth Lifeboat, finished third in the solo category and 18th place overall in the team section.
His parents travelled to Antigua to see him arrive at the end of the race.
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Mr Brook's mum, Jane, said: "He did ever-so well and I'm so proud of him. He's been bitten by the epic-challenge bug and would now like to do something else like attempting to climb Everest or run across a desert."
It is expected that Dave, who is now making his way home by yacht, will be back in England next month.
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Mr Brooks took part in the race in a customised ocean rowing vessel which was sponsored by electronics manufacturer, Panasonic.
The race started in La Gomera in the Canary Islands last January after an initial delay because of bad weather.
The cost of his challenge was �60,000 - a majority of which was paid by a Dutch-Canadian waffle-making entrepreneur, Ole Elmer, who he met at Gordano Services (on the M5) while doing a fundraising event.
Mr Brooks had thought of putting back the date in which he took part in the race for monetary reasons, until he secured financial backing from his chance meeting with Mr Elmer.
The Woodvale Atlantic Race attracts participants from all over the world who compete on equal terms in solo, pairs and four-person teams.
Mr Brooks has so far raised �450 for Sidmouth Lifeboat, �800 for Guide Dogs and �460 for RNLI.
Speaking to readers of his online blog, he said: "If you can take anything away from following my adventure, I hope it's that you now have the belief to go and follow your own dreams and not let anything stand in your way.
"You will get knocked down many times along the way, but learning to get back up is what makes you stronger.
"I had 101 moments in the last two years where I could have downed tools and walked away from everything.
"My friends and family will all agree that I was no closer to the start line of this race in September 2009 than I was back in 2007 when I took the Woodvale poster off the wall at the gym.
"Blind, dogged faith in your ability to success can often lead to ruin but it will always deliver in the end! Mr Brooks said he had enjoyed a great fortnight relaxing after the race finished.
He said: "Have enjoyed a fantastic fortnight with my parents; relaxing, sorting the boat out for shipping back to the UK and exploring the island, once on a dune buggy, and generally drinking and being merry.