A HAMPSHIRE teenager and his half-brother are planning to row the Atlantic in a bid to raise £100,000 in the battle against skin cancer.
Jude Massey and Dr Greg Bailey are vowing to complete the exhausting 3,000-mile voyage in memory of Jude’s father, Peter Massey, who died from the disease in 2015 aged 63.
The voyage is due to take place next year, with Jude and Greg rowing non-stop in shifts from the Gran Canaria to Barbados.
Jude, 17, said: “It will be a gruelling trip – each of us will be rowing two hours on, two hours off – day and night.”
The duo, who call themselves the Ocean Brothers, are aiming to take between six and 11 weeks to complete the crossing in a 24ft boat being built by Sea Sabre in Seaton, Devon.
Their journey will be aided by the Canary Current, which flows from West Africa to the Caribbean.
The brothers, both from Lymington, know it will be a major test of their physical and psychological strength. Once they set off they will be at the mercy of potential dangers such as hurricanes, large marine life and sea sickness.
However, Greg and Jude are both at home on the water.
Greg, 26, grew up by the sea, sailing small dinghies on the Solent before surfing and diving in his twenties. He has also worked as a ski and rock-climbing instructor and is a qualified mountain leader.
Jude has lived by the sea all his life. He started sailing at the age of eight and has competed at international level in the 420 class.
Peter Massey – Jude’s father and Greg’s stepfather – died of skin cancer after undergoing what they describe as 16 years of painful treatment.
The Lymington businessman spent a lot of time in the sun in his twenties and developed a scaly red mark on his forehead.
He was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma at the age of 49 and underwent an operation, but the cancer returned and eventually entered his skull.
As his condition deteriorated Peter lost an eye and became so disfigured he lacked the confidence to leave his house.
Greg – a junior doctor – said: “There are no words to describe how awful this disease is both for the sufferer and their family. The more awareness we can raise, the better for everyone.”
The brothers have issued a plea for sponsorship and are seeking support from local organisations.
They are aiming to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the British Skin Foundation, which funds research into skin cancer and other conditions such as eczema and acne.
Anyone wishing to donate should go online and visit oceanbrothers.co.uk.