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An unlikely combination makes for a great adventure,
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This review is from: The Crossing. Conquering the Atlantic in the World's Toughest Rowing Race (Paperback)
Rowing across the Atlantic is an amazing thing to do and I am sure that there are other exciting tales of rowers' experiences on the journey but it would be hard to beat this account.
When they met at a function Ben bumbled out an invite to James to join him to row the Atlantic. Brusque rejection and Ben departs tail between his legs. A while later James changes his mind and contacts Ben and so the preparations begin. Nevertheless they arrive at the starting point in LaGomera in the Canaries late and totally unprepared. Only a tropical storm saves them from disqualification before they start.
Such an unlikely pair to row the Atlantic together confined to a small boat for weeks. James Cracknell the Olympic gold medal rower is the macho man, ultra competitive, insensitive towards everyone and knows it and says it. He calls it frankness. Ben calls it bullying. Ben Fogle is a total contrast, posh speaking, refined, sensitive, well-mannered, self-effacing. Ben is like the chicken crossing the road, he is rowing the Atlantic to get to the other side. For James however the only thing that matters is winning, getting there first.
You read James's acidic account of a day and then Ben's wholly different perspective on the same events. Both hit the targets they are aiming for - their rowing partner. It seems like a very honest account from both of them. So honest in fact that I wondered were they exaggerating for dramatic effect but maybe not. They come across just like their public images but even more so. That's what makes it so entertaining. It is a miracle they have been able to remain together in this tiny boat without murder or suicide or both. They both came close to physical and mental breakdown probably at its worst over Christmas when their desalination machine broke down and they got seriously dehydrated by abstaining from the emergency ballast water.
One thing they seem to agree about however is how they feel about the organisers of the race and in particular that dragon Lin who never has a kind thing to say and seems to have not a human bone in her body.
Read it and see for yourself.