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Reed sponsors youngest ever Atlantic rowing team

This week, students and childhood friends, Luke Birch and Jamie Sparks, both 21, have set out from La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, to break the world record for the youngest team to row the Atlantic.

They're taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and are proudly sponsored by job site,

The challenge, completed in 2005-6 by Olympic rower, James Cracknell, and TV presenter, Ben Fogle, is one of the toughest endurance feats on the planet: more people have gone into space than rowed the Atlantic. It will take around 50 days of non-stop rowing in two hour shifts, day and night, burning around 10,000 calories a day.

Luke and Jamie are rowing in aid of Breast Cancer Care, with a target of &pound100,000 in their sights, and they will be supported in their fundraising efforts by the Reed Foundation this week. Its charitable giving website, theBigGive, is running its annual Christmas Challenge, which sees donations matched on a first-come, first-served basis, from 10am on the 5th, 6th and 7th December, 2013.            

Speaking to the The Telegragh last month, Jamie Sparks, who is taking a year off from his Anthropology degree course at Bristol University, said, "You only have to look out of our hotel window to see the vast expanse of the ocean that we are about to cross. Then the nerves definitely kick in.”

Luke Birch, who is studying Human Geography at Edinburgh University, added, "I’m so excited that I honestly don’t feel nervous.

“Our boat is in such good shape and everything has gone to plan so I feel quite relaxed at the moment. I feel more relaxed than I did at university, three weeks prior to being here."

The team will follow Luke and Jamie's progress over the coming weeks and post regular updates via their social media channels.

Mark Rhodes, marketing director at, said, "We have nothing but admiration and respect for what Luke and Jamie are doing and are really proud to be associated with them.

"The energy, discipline and drive they've shown in preparing for a record-breaking challenge that few people could even contemplate is incredible. What's more, they're doing it for a great cause. We wish them all the very best of luck."

The race finishes at English Harbour in Antigua in approximately 50 days. You can follow the progress of Jamie and Luke's two man team, 2BoysInABoat, via the live leaderboard, on Luke and Jamie’s website and via Twitter @2boysinaboat.

To have your donation to Breast Cancer Care doubled in theBigGive Christmas Challenge 2013, click here.

Alternatively, you can donate to Breast Cancer Care via Luke and Jamie’s JustGiving page

VIDEO - Watch Luke and Jamie talk about the challenge ahead of this week’s start in the Canary Islands


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