FOUR fearless friends from North Yorkshire have started their epic journey which will see them race across the Atlantic Ocean.

Yorkshire’s Row4Victory rowing team took off from Leeds Bradford Airport yesterday morning ahead of their gruelling challenge which starts on Wednesday, December 12.

Putting their physical and mental strength to the test, they will start in La Gomera, one of Spain’s Canary Islands and row 3,000 nautical miles to English Harbour in Antigua, in aid of The Royal British Legion and Soldier On! in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

The race could take 35 to 70 days to complete. They will row in two hour shifts in pairs around the clock.

Among the team are Fraser Mowlem, a serving Chief Technician in the Royal Air Force from Linton-On-Ouse; Will Quarmby, a civilian from Ripon; Duncan Roy, an ex-Royal Engineer from Ingleby Arncliffe; and Glyn Sadler an ex-Royal Marine from Borrowby.

Will said yesterday “Although it will be tough, we’re all ready for the challenge and can’t wait to start the race. It was difficult saying goodbye to our families this morning, particularly as we don’t know when we’ll finish the race and return home - but we’re definitely in it to win it and ready to do them all proud.”

Phil Forster, Aviation Development and Corporate Affairs Manager at Leeds Bradford Airport, said: “We’re all delighted to have given the team a good send-off for their flight to the Canaries ahead of the race. We’ll be monitoring their progress and look forward to planning a winner’s welcome for their return to Yorkshire in a few months.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The team are facing an incredible challenge, but I know how determined they are to bring home a win for Yorkshire. Best of luck to them, I know they’ll do us proud.”