"How do you prepare for 50 days of being completely alone? There's nothing you can do to prepare yourself for that,” says Malcolm about his upcoming journey. Contributed

Rowing to NZ to save his wife

"GETTING out of your comfort zone is inherently uncomfortable... so I am going to be very uncomfortable.”

This is Malcolm Skelton's final passing sentiment when thinking about his voyage ahead, as he is about to row more than 2,150km from Coffs Harbour to New Zealand with the sole purpose of saving his wife.

Sarah has been diagnosed with progressive neuromuscular condition Friedreich's Ataxia, which has no treatment or cure at this stage.

"I want my wife to live, I do not want to live without my wife and I'm not going to stop until there's a cure,” he said.

Rowers have achieved the incredible feat on very few occasions, with Shaun Quincey completing the journey in 54 days back in 2010.

Shaun is part of Malcolm's land crew in NZ, but Malcolm is hoping to beat his record by completing the trip in "50 days or less”.

He's been preparing for the past two years and is in the Chelsea Hotel parking lot adding some last minute touches to his row boat with the help of his Aussie land crew, which consists of some of the nation's most accomplished rowers.

Malcolm (left) with his boat the Sarah J and expert land crew Dylan Jones, Sam Weir, Andrew Abrahams and Michelle Lee.
Malcolm (left) with his boat the Sarah J and expert land crew Dylan Jones, Sam Weir, Andrew Abrahams and Michelle Lee. Jasmine Minhas

Andrew Abrahams is tinkering with the same boat he had rowed across the Atlantic Ocean almost 3 years ago, called the Sarah J.

Rowing team Oceanomads, Dylan Jones and Sam Weir, who are currently preparing to sail the Atlantic Ocean themselves, are also helping out.

Michelle Lee will be undertaking a Million Metres rowing world record in January.

Malcolm watches the expert team at work, listing all the safety measures he's taken to prevent himself from danger while at sea.

"I've done 2 years of physical training and conditioning for this, I'm about as prepared as you can be for such an undertaking,” he said.

"But, how do you prepare for 50 days of being completely alone? There's nothing you can do to prepare yourself for that.”

The father-of-two says he will be travelling at approximately 2 knots, is fully stocked with water and 72 days' worth of dehydrated meals.

He has only one concern.

"The only concern I have is not engaging the public and not getting donations for the cause. That's the only concern I've got,” he said.

"I've pretty much financed this whole crossing myself, my wife and I have put tens of thousands of dollars into this and we really need to get the public on board.”



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