Omar Samra (Front) and Omar Nour (Back) are getting ready for the challenge - Press photo
CAIRO - 5 May 2017: Egyptian adventurer and mountaineer Omar Samra and professional Egyptian triathlete Omar Nour will go on a rowing expedition of 5,000 nautical kilometers from the Canary Islands to Antigua as part of the Atlantic Challenge on 12 December 2017.
"The idea of completing a human-powered ocean-crossing always intrigued me, but I knew that this was one perilous adventure I couldn’t do alone,” Omar Samra said in a statement on Thursday. ‘’I immediately started looking for a teammate – it takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with 50-foot waves, blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation. When an injury sidelined Omar Nour from the Rio 2016 Olympics, I knew I’d found my man,” he added.
Commenting on the new challenge, Omar Nour said “we have absolutely no knowledge of the ocean, and had never been in a rowing boat until just a short month ago! It’s refreshing to try something completely new – to test the limit of our physical and mental strength and to achieve something unthinkable.”
Both adventurers will have to rely solely on themselves and personal resourcefulness; no outside assistance is permitted throughout the crossing.
If they successfully complete the crossing, they will be the first Arab team to row across an ocean. They intend to accomplish the feat in 40 days, 4 hours and 3 minutes.
U.K rowers Chay Blyth and John Ridgway were the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean successfully in 1996. It was a 92-day battle against hurricanes, 50-foot waves and near starvation.
The Atlantic Challenge, unofficially known as ‘the world’s toughest row’, is an annual rowing race which takes its participants for more than 5,000km west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua. The race welcomes a small group of teams, each made up of 1-4 rowers. It will commence in early December.
Only 11 teams successfully reached Antigua in a 2016 race which welcomed 12 teams from 6 countries around the world.