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Rowing Marine in good spirits and back on track for trans-Atlantic record attempt

The Rowing Marine is back on track and will set off this morning to continue his bid to become the first physically disabled person to row solo and unsupported across the Atlantic from mainland Europe to South America.

Lee Spencer stopped off in the Canary Islands after suffering sickness and technical problems with his navigation system just days after setting off from Portugal.

He had planned to leave the Canaries tomorrow but will instead make the best of a weather window today.

Yesterday Mr Spencer was in good spirits as his took his boat out on the water to test the navigation system after it had been repaired.

“Everything’s working perfectly,” he said in a video posted on Facebook yesterday.
“The weather’s looking good for tomorrow [meaning today, Saturday].”

“I know I said Sunday but I’m going tomorrow at 11am.”

“Let’s get this on. Let’s get the record broken.”

Spencer served 24 years as a Royal Marine commando and completed three operational tours of Afghanistan, returning to the UK unscathed only to lose a leg after being hit by flying debris while helping a motorway crash victim.

Four years on, he seeks challenge and adventure to raise awareness of disability and military veterans.

This will be his second time rowing across the Atlantic, having crossed it in 2015 as a part of a four-man team of injured soldiers who had just three legs between them.

“As a society we shouldn’t judge people who are disabled for what they can’t do,” Mr Spencer said when he set off.

“We’re not defined by disability.”

He had originally hoped to leave from Gibraltar, his base for preparing for the voyage, but strong tides and adverse weather in the Strait of Gibraltar have forced him to switch his departure point to Portimao, in Portugal.

Mr Spencer’s attempt will raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick UK military personnel.

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