At present the two brothers are putting the finishing touches to their preparations and are off to the UK for their final pre-Atlantic trip. The Van Durmes will leave from Blankenberge.
“We’ll need three days to get to the UK. This is our last try-out. We’ve been dreaming about this for ages. When we heard there was a competition we didn’t hesitate” says Bernard.
The boat they will use on the Atlantic is sturdier than a conventional rowing boat that is lighter to increase speed. Ocean-going rowing boats are broader to cope with weather conditions.
Bernard: “It could be a dangerous trip. If need be, we can shelter in the cabin at the stern, where we sleep.”
The trip to the UK could be dangerous too:
“If a storm is on the way and we’re among the first teams, we won’t give up. Still, we won’t endanger our lives.”
The Van Durmes have been training hard. Bernard: “We need enough muscle to avoid injury, but mental strength is important too. It’s not easy to be confined in such a small space for so long and we are training to avoid conflict too. It’s important to express your frustration and not coop it up.”