- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee man is preparing to put his endurance to an ultimate challenge by trying to row a boat across the Atlantic Ocean.

Phil Theodore, 48, of Brentwood will face 30- to 40-foot waves, sleep deprivation and shark-infested waters, The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1QRKr8i) reported. He will take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, known as “The World’s Toughest Row,” which sets off Sunday from the Canary Islands.

The challenge consists of 30 teams broken down into three categories: pairs, solo and teams of four.

Theodore and his teammate, 29-year-old Daley Ervin, have been training for the 3,000-mile challenge for two years.

The race can last from 40 to 90 days. During that time, they’ll be rowing 18 hours every day in a 23-foot-long and 6-foot-wide boat. Both men will row together for 12 hours a day and separately for six hours.

The race was originally scheduled to begin Tuesday but was postponed until Sunday because of weather.

After spending the past three weeks in the port town of San Sebastián de La Gomera, where the rowers will cast off, Theodore said he’s been counting down the minutes for the race to start.

“We’re excited, we’ll have strong easterly winds, so it should be a fast start,” Theodore said. “We’re really well prepared right now. We’ve had the boat in water and we’ve been doing training exercises every day.”

Once he and Ervin set off and row across the Atlantic Ocean toward Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua, in the Caribbean, the two men will face the challenge of a lifetime.

Along with vacuum-sealed meals, the boat’s small cabin will hold a water maker to convert sea water to drinking water and first aid kits. While the boat is equipped with an emergency distress signal and satellite phone, which are powered by solar panels above the boat’s small cabin, the men will be totally self-supported, exposed to the elements and without any type of support boat.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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