Former Burnley man completes daring Atlantic challenge to raise awareness of testicular cancer

The Atlantic Seamen, AKA Jon Davis, Alex Fawcett, Andy Grant and Andrew Berry, have rowed 3000 miles in storms across the open ocean in aid of The Urology Foundation. (s)
The Atlantic Seamen, AKA Jon Davis, Alex Fawcett, Andy Grant and Andrew Berry, have rowed 3000 miles in storms across the open ocean in aid of The Urology Foundation. (s)
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A former Burnley man has rowed more than 3000 miles and faced sharks and storms in a six-week gruelling challenge across the Atlantic Ocean.

Andrew Berry (49), who attended the old St Theodore's RC High School, is one of four friends taking part in the annual Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge from the Canary Islands, Spain, to Antigua & Barbuda, West Indies.

The team, amateur rowers known as the Atlantic Seamen, embarked on the adventure in nothing more than a 28ft boat in December and completed it last Thursday, competing against 28 entrants from around the world.

So far they have raised an incredible £92,000, partly in aid of The Urology Foundation, which conducts research into prostate, kidney and bladder cancer.

Margaret Berry, Andrew's mum, who lives in Burnley, said: "Their aim is to highlight that men can suffer from testicular cancer at any age.

"There was a programme on ITV's This Morning featuring two young men who'd been checked for cancer. One of them couldn't have been older than 20-years-old. He'd found a lump and was having an operation.

"Men often don't think about things like this and sweep it under the carpet."

Despite having previously cycled from London to Paris in 24 hours, Andrew undertook two years of training to prepare to face the full force of the ocean, including blisters, salt rash, scorching sun and sleep deprivation.

Strikingly, more people have been into space or climbed Everest than rowed across an ocean. This demanding expedition means each rower needs to consume 10 litres of water per day, and would burn more than 5,000 calories daily and lose on average 12kg.

The race was invented by Sir Chay Blyth after a 92-day battle across the ocean in 1966 with John Ridgeway against hurricanes, 50ft waves and near starvation.

Margaret added: "Andrew and his team mates rode through a three-hour storm and risked having hallucinations. But they've also seen dolphins and all sorts of sea creatures.

"I'm very happy he's done it. I think it's a very brave thing to do. It's a huge challenge in terrible conditions. I'm very proud of him."

For more information or to make a donation, please visit http://atlanticseamen.com