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Technical problems prompt Canaries pit-stop for Rowing Marine

The Rowing Marine, Lee Spencer, is back at the oars following a terrible bout of seasickness and diarrhoea, but technical issues mean he has to reroute his transatlantic row to the Canary Islands.

After a low day on Monday and following an encouraging talk from his wife Claire and previous rowing buddy on another Atlantic crossing, Cayle Royce, Mr Spencer is back at it.

“He’s feeling a lot better and a lot more positive. Lee knows what needs doing, his head is down, he’s getting back into his routine and starting to row to Gran Canaria,” said his public relations officer who is managing his Facebook page, The Rowing Marine.

The world record attempt is still on, his PR officer confirmed, but the wording of it may change.

On Sunday evening Mr Spencer was hit with sickness and technical issues with his Automated Identification System. He spent time on Monday obtaining technical support over the satellite phone in a bid to fix it. However, it transpired that he needs hands-on help.

“The navigation system is down - no AIS, no GPS. If he was further into the ocean he'd battle on but being so close to the Canaries he's going to do the right thing and have it fixed,” his spokeswoman said.

Depending on the weather and Mr Spencer’s strength it will take up to a week to reach Las Palmas. Once his equipment is fixed Mr Spencer aims to be back in the water and rowing his was to French Guiana as planned.

Mr Spencer aims to be the first physically-disabled person to row solo and unsupported from mainland Europe to mainland America for a new Guinness World Record.

He is also attempting to beat the current able-bodied record of 96 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes, gaining a second Guinness World Record during his crossing.

Mr Spencer is aiming to raise awareness and money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Endeavour Fund.

Further information can be found at For donations please visit

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