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Trans-At rowers set off on Sunday

NOV. 24 -- Rowers from around the world will set off Sunday in the 2,550-nautical-mile unaided Atlantic Rowing Race 2005. First held in 1995, the race begins in La Gomera in the Canary Islands and is expected to wrap up some 55 to 60 days later in Antigua.

Nearly 60 competitors, broken into 26 teams and three classes (solo, pairs and fours), will race in ocean-rowing boats provided by British event sponsor Woodvale Events. Competitors in this year’s field include two-time Olympic rowing gold medalist James Cracknell and his partner, Ben Fogle, a writer and BBC presenter; French amputees Franck Bruno and Dominique Benassi; and Emily Kohl, 23, and Sarah Kessans, 22, the second-youngest team overall and the only American entrants, who are one of four all-female teams.

Rowing across the Atlantic involves both physical and mental strength, and previous race competitors have encountered numerous obstacles at sea, including near misses with container ships, according to information on the event Web site.

Jason Fell