A MAN from County Durham hopes to fulfil his dream by rowing across the Atlantic – and into the record books.

James Davidson is part of the Mainland 2 Mainland Atlantic Four team aiming to row non-stop from mainland Europe to mainland South America.

In a 29ft rowing boat called Trilogy, they aim to travel 3,800 miles from at the marina of Portimao, on the south coast of Portugal, to Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana.

This will make them the first team of four to row the Atlantic route in a Pure class ocean rowing boat, which gets little assistance from the wind.

The challenge started last month and, after 16 challenging days and almost 700 miles, they are currently in the Canaries.

Track the Mainland2Mainland Atlantic Four here

They will then track the African coast, pressed forward by the mid-Atlantic currents towards South America, and once level with the Cape Verde Islands, turn due west across the vast Atlantic Ocean to French Guiana.

Mr Davidson, known to many as Jim, attended Barnard Castle School and studied sports science at Bishop Auckland College and Chester University.

After his degree, he returned to County Durham and worked for British Rowing as a coach across Yorkshire and the North of England, including at Durham School.

He now lives in Edinburgh, where he is head of rowing at George Heriots School.

Mr Davison’s passion for rowing began during his university days, where he learned to row alongside crewmate Tom Riley.

Jim Davidson got his passion for rowing at Chester University, where he was was crewmate Tom Riley

Jim Davidson got his passion for rowing at Chester University, where he was was crewmate Tom Riley

The 39-year-old said: “I am sure my coaching experience, together with my sports science background, means I can add useful skills and knowledge to the crew. This is something I aim to share as much as possible during our crossing.

“Born and raised in Country Durham, I have always had a craving for adventure.

“I have travelled to over 50 countries across six different continents, with plenty of challenges along the way. The most notable of which was a 3000km hike from the bottom to the top of New Zealand, with my long-suffering wife Michelle.

“The thought of rowing the Atlantic has been at the pinnacle of my lifetime goals as it is the ultimate adventure.

“When Tom first mentioned he was rowing the Atlantic and asked me if I fancied joining him, there was no mulling it over. I had already done that for years. I was ready. My answer was yes.”

The challenge is raising money and awareness for two charities – Our Blue Light which promotes the physical and mental wellbeing of emergency services staff and their families and marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

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