Skandia Atlantic Spirit will arrive in Newfoundland later today in preparation for its Atlantic dash

Skandia Atlantic Spirit, the revolutionary hi-tech rowing boat, arrives today in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada in preparation for its Atlantic dash early next month.

The four-man Skandia Ocean Row team, led by Bournemouth-based fire fighter Mark Stubbs, will set off from Newfoundland for the British Isles on 2 June 2002 in an attempt to break the record for the fastest boat ever to cross an ocean. The team aims to reach Falmouth, Cornwall, via the Isles of Scilly, in under 35 days, 21 days faster than any other team to row the same route.

The current world record has stood for over 100 years, set by the two-man team of Harbo and Samuelson in 1896, in an 18-foot wood whaler boat called the Richard K Fox. It took them 55 days to arrive in the Isles of Scilly. Their record was tied only by solo rower Tom McClean, who matched their time 90 years later in a boat called Skoll 1080.

The fastest ever crossing of an ocean was captured by Le Mondial in 1987, which was rowed by 11 Frenchmen. They rowed east to west, from the Canary Islands to Martinique in just 35 days.