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Father and sons break Atlantic rowing record for Bromley hospice

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2019

The Traffords celebrate crossing the finish line after their 3,000 mile row. Photo: Ben Duffy

The Traffords celebrate crossing the finish line after their 3,000 mile row. Photo: Ben Duffy

©Ben Duffy Photography

A father and his two sons have shattered the record for a trio to row across the Atlantic, and raised a fortune for a Bromley hospice.

Father and sons finally reach dry land after breaking Atlantic record. Photo: Ben DuffyFather and sons finally reach dry land after breaking Atlantic record. Photo: Ben Duffy

London solicitor James Trafford, 59, and sons Hugo, 22 and Joe, 18, completed the epic row across the Atlantic Ocean in 41 days, smashing the previous record by eight days.

They also raised more than £180,000 for St Christopher’s Hospice, which provides education as well as care and support for families in south east London.

They arrived in Antigua on January 23 having rowed 3,000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

Their boat was also called St Christopher’s.

Safely back on dry land, James said, “It’s just amazing to be finished. When we knew that we had just 1,000 miles left to row and that the world record was in sight, that was a really special moment, and we had a bit of a celebration.”

A father and sons in that close proximity could have fuelled some family tantrums, but it seemed they worked well together.

James said: “We got on, genuinely, really well together on the row.

“There were so many highs and lows, but when we were told that good weather was coming and then the forecast turned-out to be wrong and we were heading back into bad weather, psychologically, that was really hard.

“We’re feeling a bit wobbly being back on land, but it’s really great to see everyone, especially our family, and we’re proud of the money we’ve managed to raise for the hospice.”

To finish, they took it in turns to row in two hour shifts 24 hours a day.

James, who is a long-term supporter of the hospice, said it even included Christmas and New Year.

The Wiltshire family survived on freeze dried food while battling strong winds, and even rowed with a dolphin escort.

Perhaps most dangerous was surviving close encounters with cargo ships at night.

Sean O’Leary, joint chief executive at St Christopher’s, said: “The Trafford family contribution will help mean that we can share our experience further through our education programmes.”

To add to the money raised, visit www.transatlantictraffords.com

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