An Essex yachtsman packed away his sails and took up his oars to row solo across the Atlantic becoming the world record holder en route. Charlie Pitcher, 50, from Burnham-on-Crouch smashed the previous record by an incredible five days, taking 35 days to cross from La Gomera in the Canary Isles to Barbados.
His boat was a specially built 6.5m long, lightweight, carbon fibre one-seater and he crossed the ocean to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
In 2003 Maud Fontenoy, aged 26, tried to become the first woman to row west to east across the Atlantic.
Charlie’s sports CV includes:
Representing GBR in international yachting events spanning a period of 20 years including America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cups and various other international championships (1982 – 2000)
Competing in the Marathon des Sables, 151 miles in the Sahara (2009)
He set a new British record in 2010 for the fastest solo crossing of the Atlantic in “The world’s toughest rowing race” and became the only solo boat to beat an entire fleet (2010)
He was the first person to run non-stop from the Top of Ben Nevis to the top of Great Britain covering 350km in 100 hours across country. (2011)
And was expedition member of the C Group Arctic Challenge in Norway with the Royal Marines to raise funds for their injured Marines (2012)
His various expeditions have so far raised in excess of £350,000 for charity.