Four men in a boat

Four men have set off across the Atlantic on a 40ft X 20ft raft. Project leader Anthony Smith, 84, balloonist, travel writer and one-time TV presenter, is the skipper and wants to make the voyage to raise awareness of the importance of fresh water supplies.

This is one reason why his raft is made from four large plastic water pipes, as well as recycled items. They set off in An-tiki from La Gomera in the Canary Islands bound for the Bahamas and estimate the passage will take 70 days.

Smith is sailing with friends Don Russell, 61, David Hildred, 57, and Andrew Bainbridge, 57. Since Smith has no sailing experience he enlisted the help of a project manager who used to work for Sir Chay Blyth’s Challenge Business to help design and supervise the building.

They will have a support vessel following their route. See www.gasballoon.com/antiki/ for more information.