It’s not a challenge for the faint-hearted, but even less so when you reach the tender age of 66.

Rowing the Atlantic solo is Simon Howes’s aim over the next few months to hopefully raise £100,000 for the IW Red Squirrel Trust. Simon had already reached the £50,000 mark as the CP went to press.

Simon, who lives near Ryde, sets out from La Gomera, Tenerife, on December 12, heading for English Harbour, Antigua, by the end of March — a distance of 3,000 miles.

During lockdown, he acquired a 25ft rowing boat with the objective of rowing across the Atlantic.

The retried stockbroker has now entered a The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2021 to complete the ambition.

Isle of Wight County Press: Simon Howes in East Cowes Marina.Simon Howes in East Cowes Marina.

Simon told the County Press: “At the age of 66 I am attempting to become one of the oldest men in history to row across an ocean in a solo rowing boat unassisted.

“I will be trying to ‘complete’ rather than ‘compete’ in the race, having never rowed before in my life until last year. I am one of only four solo rowers, the rest of the fleet is made up of twos, fours and fives.

“Many more people have been into space and more people have climbed Everest than have ever rowed the Atlantic.

“Rowing in up to 40 foot waves and the water being over five miles deep in places, is certainly daunting. The number of oar strokes required to complete the challenge is at least 1.5 million.”

To keep himself fuelled, Simon will need to eat over 5,000 calories a day, so he has packed 300 dried meals, and will need to drink ten litres of water every day, so he has installed a solar powered water maker.


Isle of Wight County Press: Simon Howes after a man-overboard drill.Simon Howes after a man-overboard drill. His boat is aptly named Atlantic Rower and when he sets off she will weigh over a ton.

Simon said: “To get fit I have been putting in many hours on a rowing machine in the garage, plus over 200 hours rowing solo in The Solent and in the North Sea, day and night.

“Since moving to the Island in 2017 we have been enthralled by the red squirrel population in and around our garden. They are an endangered species and I felt I should do something now to help ensure their future.”

He added that 100 per cent of all donations will go direct to the charity.

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To follow Simon’s progress go to