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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Pizza, vegetables and solar panels in boat supplies for attempt to row across Atlantic

By regulation they must carry 60 days of food for two people

When Dubai residents Omar Nour and Omar Samra's boat leaves the harbour it will be almost completely full, weighing in at 950kg.

Although they have their sights set on the world record for pairs of 40 days, four hours and three minutes, by regulation they must carry 60 days of food for two people. The Omars are trying to be the first team from the Arab region to row across the Atlantic.

Supplies will include comfort food such as pizza, fresh food and vegetables for the first few days and dehydrated food for the rest of the journey.

Emergency water must be carried although a water maker to make the sea water fit for drinking is fitted on the 7.5metre x 1.8 metre fibre glass and wooden boat.

Two solar panels will energise two batteries to manage power consumption.

A small cabin at the front is the only protection during storms. If the boat capsizes, it can self-right.

Equipment is stored in a small space at the back.

Basic items include a life raft, life jackets, safety harness, flares, tracking beacons, satellite telephone, laptop, satellite phone, fire extinguisher, medical kit, signal mirror, VHF radio, GPS and automatic identification radar transponder to communicate with vessels to prevent collisions.

Team O2 must make do with the food and equipment on the boat for the entire journey.

As per the rules, the rowers cannot take any help, food or water or repair assistance from support boats or they will be disqualified.

The rowers must be tied on with safety line and harness when on deck.

In the 2016 race, of 12 teams from six countries, 11 reached Antigua.

The race starts from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua

The challenge begins on December 12.

Dubai rower planning to cross the Atlantic learns to manage his diabetes at sea

Omar Nour discovered he was diabetic this year and him and his partner in his challenge to sail across the Atlantic, Omar Samra, have done the groundwork to prepare for a medical emergency since they cannot accept help during the crossing.

Being a triathlete, Mr Nour understands his body and is detail oriented.

After researching and speaking to doctors, he attached an implant to his back that is connected to a medical device and his phone. It gives regular readings and triggers an alarm if levels shoot too high or skim too low.

Long training stints on the boat have taught him to manage his medication.

“It’s easy to manage diabetes on land but on the sea if I skip meals because I’m throwing up, my level will go low as my body does not have a chance to process sugars. I have learnt how to adjust the dosage to stay safe,” he said.

Mr Nour has also worked with the National Ambulance to learn how to place an intravenous drip as a precautionary measure.

Having watched Mr Nour keep track of his condition has helped Mr Samra learn to take remedial action if required.

“In case Omar is sleeping or rowing and his levels fall alarmingly low, I can alert him so he can eat something or inject himself. By being vigilant, you can avoid the sugar level going dangerously low,” said Mr Samra.