News release: 'Spirit of Lancashire' takes to the water

Media and Promotion Office (2003) News release: 'Spirit of Lancashire' takes to the water. Other. University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

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Lancashire rowers Paul Nelson and Adam Murfitt, who are currently taking part in a
trans-Atlantic rowing race, are doing well despite a couple of mishaps in their first week
at sea.
The pair are now in fourth place, chasing for third. They left La Gomera in the Canary
Islands ten days ago in their boat, the 'Spirit of Lancashire' and have now crossed the
continental shelf west of the Western Sahara, en route to Barbados.
Hoping that they don't get into too deep water is their team manager John Bradley, a
sports scientist from the University of Central Lancashire, where Paul and Adam have
been doing most of their training. ''They've had a few problems this week", he says. A
big isolated storm last Thursday caused them to snap an oar and they were blown north
west for over nine nautical miles. They also had to navigate in the dark because of
problems with the light that illuminates their compass."
Dr Bradley is confident that they've managed to overcome these difficulties and will be
able to make up some ground (or water) on the leaders. ''They're 160 miles behind
them at the moment, but anything can happen in the five weeks or so left!".
The race began on 19 October in the Canaries and fmishes in Barbados. Paul, from
Chorley and Adam, from Lancaster will row 2900 nautical miles in shifts of two hours.
The average time of the crossing is 55 days, with the record currently standing at 41
days. Dr Bradley and his colleagues from the University's Department of Biological
Sciences has been helping the rowers prepare for the race, covering everything from the
physiological and biomechanical aspects of their fitness to preparing their minds for the
challenge ahead.
29 October 2003
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Note to editors: Paul Nelson and Adam Murfitt can be contacted by satellite phone or
text- see their website for more details or contact Dr John
Bradley, University of Central Lancashire, tel: 01772 893523

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