Northampton man's bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean

Alan Bustin-Mulkern in trainingAlan Bustin-Mulkern in training
Alan Bustin-Mulkern in training
A former Northampton soldier is to row across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for the British Army's national charity.

Alan Bustin-Mulkern, who is an adult volunteer with Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force (LNR ACF), is hoping to raise £100,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF – The Soldiers’ Charity) by taking part in the 2017 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

The 47-year-old will row 3,000 nautical miles from San Sebastian in the Canary Islands, to Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua.

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A former member of 4/73 Battery, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery Alan has set up the Row West 2017 team for the event which starts in December though is unsure if he will take on the challenge solo or with a partner.

Alan said: “The Atlantic Challenge is something I’ve wanted to do since I saw James Cracknell and Ben Fogle take it on in 2005/2006 – it’s a niche type of activity but is everything that a real adventure should be -practical, emotional, technical and remorselessly physical.

“The plan as a pair was to complete the challenge in 45 days or less, but if I do it solo the aim will be to complete it in 60 days.

“My boat was taken across the Atlantic last year in 58 days, so I know that it’s definitely doable.

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“So much depends on the weather I will be happy to know I’ve just done the best that I can.”

Alan only took up rowing last year and will need an estimated 1.5 million oar strokes to propel the 10 metre vessel with sleeping cabin across the Atlantic.

He’s currently receiving nutrition and psychology advice as well as fitness training from Northampton University in a bid to complete the feat.

Alan added: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the sea life out there and also seeing the night sky without light pollution - I’ve been told that’s absolutely incredible to see.”

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You can donate to Alan’s challenge via the Virgin Giving page

To find out more or to support Alan in his venture please email: [email protected] or visit