Student rower in world record bid

An Edinburgh student is attempting to break a world record as part of the youngest team to row across the Atlantic.

Geography student Luke Birch (21) is undertaking the two-person, 50-day non-stop challenge with his childhood friend, Jamie Sparks.

They are rowing in a bid to raise £10,000 for charity Breast Cancer Care and have generated more than £68,000 so far.

The pair are set to leave from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on 2 December.

Gruelling task

Luke and Jamie will cross 3,000 nautical miles and will burn 10,000 calories each every day.

They have been training since summer 2012 and gained a number of certificates to help ensure they will be as safe as possible at sea.

During the trip they could encounter a number of obstacles, including 50-foot waves or three-day storms.

None of this has put them off, and the pair are determined to become the youngest pair ever to row the Atlantic.

Charity challenge

Luke was inspired to raise money for Breast Cancer Care after members of his family had been affected by the disease.

I lost my grandmother to breast cancer a few years ago and last year my mother was diagnosed with the disease. It’s been a scary time. My mum received some fantastic care and support throughout her treatment so if my big Atlantic row with my best mate, Jamie, can help ensure others get the same kind of care as my mother, then it will be worth it.

Luke BirchGeography student, University of Edinburgh

Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is a UK-wide charity providing specialist support and tailored information for anyone affected by breast cancer.

The charity’s clinical expertise and support network aims to help thousands of people find a way to live with, through and beyond breast cancer.

Related Links

Luke and Jamie's charity website - 2 boys in a boat

Breast Cancer Care

University of Edinburgh – Centre for Sport & Exercise