Sunday, 20 June 2021

Teenager bids to row Atlantic on his own

A FORMER pupil at the Oratory School in Woodcote hopes to become the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic.

Lukas Haitzmann, 18, will be taking part in this year’s 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which sets off from the Canary Islands on December 12 and finishes at Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua.

He is aiming to raise at least £140,000 in sponsorship to fund the cost of a vessel made by Rannoch Adventure, a specialist supplier of ocean rowing boats.

Lukas, who recently sat his A-level exams in chemistry, physics and maths, trained about 11 hours a week as part of an Oratory eight that competed in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.

He will increase this to about 20 hours a week, mostly on an ergo, and will up his daily calorie intake to at least 4,500 in order to put about 12kg on his 67kg frame. This will consist of both muscle for power and fat as a fuel source.

Lukas has been rowing since he joined the school in 2013 and came up with the idea of the row after completing this year’s London Marathon and seeking a new challenge.

He said: “When I told my mum she nearly had a heart attack and told me not to do it.

“I said ‘okay’ but then I read about the race and thought it was worth doing.

“Mum eventually agreed as long as I didn’t let it get in the way of exams.

“I’m hoping to complete it in 60 days and will be very happy if I do it in under 45.

“I know it’s going to be tough and I’ll probably be bricking it at the start line but everyone at the school, from the teachers to my friends, has been very supportive. I’m looking forward to it.”

To sponsor Lukas, visit

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