A Doncaster adventurer bidding to break the world record for rowing more than 2,300 miles across the Atlantic Ocean has been forced to carry out emergency repairs on the team’s boat.
Matt Wilds, who is one of a four strong team attempting to break a string of records by rowing from Africa to South America, leapt into action to carry out essential repairs in a bid to keep the challenge on track.
Having suffered problems with the steering system of their craft Year of Zayed since New Year’s Day, the four-man Row4Ocean team are back on the pace, after the third and hopefully final fix for their rudder.
After two attempts to jury-rig the broken pin holding the rudder to the boat, the team decided to employ some time and a major engineering effort on the 23rd day of the record breaking attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean.
The fix included shortening the rudder blade to get rid of the damaged area and using nuts and bolts on board to make a solid fix between the rudder and the rudder stock. The fix was a team effort but the engineering experience of Misson man Matt, 40, was essential.
“Matthew has always been someone with a positive attitude,” commented his dad, Steve Wilds.
“He is a great motivator and likes to be successful in everything he does.
For example if he goes fishing he catches fish, if he plays golf he hits the greens and if something is broke he will focus on fixing it – the genuine Mr Fixit.
“As a boy he always helped his dad mix the concrete or fix the shelf and as a man he even built his own dinning room furniture. Matthew was great at most sports – he played representative sports and even captained Yorkshire boys cricket. He applies his motivational skills to his work and to fixing things he is a real winner.”
Row4Ocean are now under 800 miles from the finish and have a perfect wind direction and some big waves to surf towards Paramaribo in Suriname.
The team set out from Dakar in Senegal before Christmas and have encountered a number of problems on their gruelling crossing across the Atlantic.