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Tossing in the oars

JULY 11 --A Frenchman says he’s too scared to continue his bid to row across the Atlantic from Massachusetts to France after experiencing rough weather not far offshore.

“I’m too scared to try another time,” says Charlie Girard, 26, in a Boston Globe news report. “I think it’s my last time for this boat.”

Girard first set off June 30 from Orleans, Mass., according to information on his Web site. He was towed back to shore a number of hours later after his 23-foot custom rowing boat began taking on water.

Girard’s second attempt kicked off July 4 but ended the following night 50 miles off Provincetown, Mass., in 5- to 8-foot seas and 15-knot winds, according to the Coast Guard. The Frenchman used his satellite phone to contact a friend on shore who contacted the Coast Guard, saying Girard “had taken seven or eight rolls and was ready to come off,” a statement says.

The Coast Guard launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and the crew hoisted the rower from the boat at about 9 p.m., the statement says. Girard had been attempting to break the 2004 record of 62 days, 19 hours, 48 minutes, for the fastest solo row across the North Atlantic.

Girard’s $270,000 rowing boat was left adrift, the news report says. He was expected to fly to France sometime this week.

Jason Fell