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Date: 04 Mar 2010 16:52:02
Title: Ataxia UK

Hello everybody................its me!!!
 
How are you all today? Good i hope. Things aboard red arrow are fine, making good progess and homing in on Antigua. Infact, my biggest problem is which blog to write first. I have four i more i want to send but some of them, if i send now, might be jinx-ing the trip, so they can wait, but if all goes to plan, only four more, including this one, its go go go!!!!!
 
You may remember in my last blog i said that we had 511 miles to go and that we were aiming for 100 miles every two days, well, we currently have 411 miles to go, but this is an hour early!!! Our race is planning out fine and although we are getting some great texts saying "keep going, boats ahead are so near", we are not thinking about them. We aim to do 50 miles a day, that is at 10am, we should be either ?74miles or ?24miles to go and at 10pm, its ?98 or ?48 miles to go. Over the last 5 days, since our last stop, we have never been more than 2 miles out. The reason we have forgotten about the other boats is food. We know that HCL are very low and suspect Dream maker are the same. We currently have "alot" left, about 130kg extra weight. We also have all our rubbish and all our ballest on board. We think the boats ahead are alot lighter, so why kill ourselves. If they faulter, were on them, but we are not gonna kill ourselves beating them.Also, being 130 mils ahead of the next boat means we have no pressure. Having said that, we are only 20 miles behind HCL and Dream maker and catching as of 1pm.
 
Now, i know tom did a blog about Ataxia a few weeks ago, But i have decided not to read his blogs until i get home. His journey is his and mine is mine, i hope i dont repeat him!!!, but i thought it was about time, i told you about my reasons for being here. Its a well known fact that this was my idea, 15 years ago i came up with this plan. But im lucky, i have no real connection with any charities. The scolorosis association was the obvious one for me but they werent intrested and so i was actively looking to row an ocean to help support a worthy cause. Tom introduced me to James. 
 
When i first met james, i thought, how lazy, a drunk boy in a wheel chair. Little did i know he that he had a condition known as Ataxia. I didnt know what it was and nor had i ever heard of it. But its a condition that effectes co-ordination and in james case his speech and movement. My orginal thoughts were helped along by his t-shirt, "im not drunk, i have ataxia"....whatever! I thought long and hard about the charity and as i got to know james and more about ataixia, i got intrested in supporting the charity. But, the turning point was at Gormet burger bar. Sitting with james and tom, we all tucked into a burger, it was great. "Seconds anybody?", james was there like a shot, it was down to two of us. It came and it went, "thirds?". After our thrid buger each, i knew that ataxia was the charity for us, this boy could eat, and even after the thrid he was fine. I personaly sat in the back of the car feeling like i was gonna vomit everywhere, but not james, he was fine!!!!
 
Its james that made our website that you all visit each and every time you want to know more about us, the challenge and the charity. Its great and everybody comments on it, good comments that is, not rubbish one's!!!
 
I dont know what our final figure will be for the moeny raised for ataxia by doing this challenge, i hope its in excess of £20,000. James is living proof that even with such a distructive illness taking over the body, it doesnt have to stop you enjoying yourself. It might make you support a rubbish football team like Villa, but i guess thats ok. Actually, watching the terrace's at most football games, everybody could have ataxia...........unco-ordinated, drunk appeared individuals, James fits right in!!!
 
Even if we dont raise £20,000, i know that many more people know what ataxia is/means and how it effects individuals, that for one has got to be worth something. A speical thanks must go to kate and the team at ataxia UK who's help and support have been fantastic.
 
There is no wildlife here today, its choppy but were getting there, hopefully only 8 days to go.......its been 2 months today that we have been out here.........who would have thought!
 
Rich  

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