THREE men from Ealing and another from Jersey will be spending Christmas Day rowing the Atlantic in memory of two young people they knew who died of cancer.

They hope to raise £100,000 for the charity Teenage Cancer Trust.

James Deehan, Lirim Gula, and Charlie Crane, all 25, will be joined by Channel Islander Rufus Scholefield, 26, for the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which starts on December 12.

Rufus lost his close friend Harry to a rare form of brain cancer in February, while the Ealing trio were inspired to support the charity after watching Andre, a pupil at their school, struggle with treatment. Andre also died. 

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The Dorabros crew will fly out to the Canary Islands on Sunday to make their final preparations.  They are expected to be at sea for at least a month, taking it in turns to row.

This is not the team’s first challenge for the Teenage Cancer Trust. In April, they tackled the Marathon des Sables – an ultra-marathon of 251km across the Sahara desert – followed by a cycle ride from Monaco to London in May and more recently a relay swim across the Channel.

James Deehan said: “It does promise to be a unique Christmas, that's for sure. Spending it away from family and being battered by waves relentlessly while our loved ones are tucking into pigs in blankets and unwrapping new socks will be very unusual.”