A FIREFIGHTER from Mirfield and his colleague are making final preparations for their row across the Atlantic.
Dean Jagger is part of Team Heatwave and he and fellow Manchester Airport fireman Neil Gyllenship have now revealed the name of the 30-foot boat that they plan to row in December to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
It is the first time that Dean and Neil have ever rowed competitively and because the salty Atlantic seawater can cause extreme chaffing, the two-man Team Heatwave crew will complete the epic trek in the nude.
At the official naming ceremony in the airport’s North Fire Station “The Spirit of MA” was blessed by the Rev Kevin Ball, before leaving to begin her journey to the starting line of the Atlantic Rowing Race 2009 in Tenerife.
Mr Gyllenship, 34, said: “The naming of any seagoing vessel is an ancient tradition dating as far back as the ancient Greeks, Romans and Vikings. It is believed that doing so brought good luck and protected them from potential harm while at sea, ensuring the safe passage of the boat.”
Mr Jagger, 40, who has three children and lives in Mirfield, said: “We wanted to do something amazing for charity. I wanted a life-changing challenge.”
The 3,000-mile row will raise £100,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice, St Anne’s Hospice and children’s-charity, Childflight.
The gruelling challenge begins on December 6 at Tenerife with the finish in Antigua.