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Shark pesters ocean rowers

DEC. 22 — A 12-foot shark attacked the rowing boat of a New Zealand team competing in the Atlantic Rowing RaceTuesday about 600 miles from the Canary Islands.

After circling Team Sun Latte’s boat, the shark battered the vessel for about 15 minutes, according to information on the team’s Web site. Team members Tara Remington and Iain Rudkin hid inside the cabin.

“We were really scared,” Remington says on the site. “It was so aggressive and persistent, for a while we wondered if it would ever stop, it just kept hitting the boat, having a go at the rudder, the sea anchor and hull. We weren’t sure it wasn’t biting holes in the underside so we rang the support ship Aurora for advice and possible assistance.”

The race’s primary support vessel, Aurora, arrived at the scene six hours later, well after the attack, but stayed with Team Sun Latte for support as they continued on.

At one point during the attack Rudkin considered taping a flare to a gas cooking canister to try and shoot the shark “ ‘Jaws’ style,” but thought better of it, he says on the site.

Team Sun Latte is one of 26 teams competing in the 2,550-nautical mile race from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

— Jason Fell