TAUNTON rower Chris ‘Darby’ Walters, and his mate Elliott Dale are on course to set beat the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing.

The pair are 500 miles into their attempt and have already overcome a violent storm, being tailed by a four-metre shark, a near miss with a cargo ship and Elliott suffering a nasty hand injury after being knocked off balance by a wave.

Yet they are still on course to reach the Scilly Isles in under 55 days after setting out from Manhattan, New York, on June 7,in their bid to beat the record set by Harbo and Samuelson in 1896.

They aim to complete the hazardous 3,246-mile journey in their Rannoch pairs boat Row for Precious Lives.

The hope to raise £300,000 for the Children’s Hospice South West