TWO Worcester rowers will compete in a two-month-long race across the Atlantic to raise money for a charity in memory of their childhood neighbour.

Matt Bladen and George Farmiloe - aptly known as the Worcester Buoys - will take part in the world's toughest row next month alongside 40 teams who will compete to be the fastest to row 3,000 miles.

The inspiration behind the gruelling task is Jack Dyer whose family Mr Bladen lived next door to in Claines for seven years.

Jack died in November 2020 at age16.

Mr Bladen and Mr Farmiloe, both 25, are flying out on Wednesday to La Gomera in Spain, which is where the start line is.

The race officially begins next month on Tuesday, December 12.

Mr Bladen shared his anticipation ahead of the big day: "I am both nervous and excited, the race has come round very quickly."

Mr Farmiloe added: "We are as prepared as we can be."

For 32 days, the ‘Worcester Buoys’ will battle 20ft waves and take over 1.5 million rowing strokes in two hours on, two hours off shifts to travel across the Atlantic from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda.

The pair’s journey began 11 years ago when they first rowed together at the King's School in Worcester, this will be their biggest sporting challenge yet.

On top of competing, the boys are aiming to raise £100,000 for a charity close to Matt's heart.

Mr Bladen said: "We're doing this to raise money for Acorns Children's Hospice.

"They cared for my neighbour, Jack Dyer, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, throughout his life."

So far, the pair have raised £75,000 for Acorns Children's Hospice. 

Jack's father, Dale Dyer, 56 said: "It's amazing, I think they're crazy."

"To do the challenge that they're doing, for Acorns and in memory of our son, it's just awesome." 

The money George and Matt continue to raise will be invaluable to Acorns Children's Hospice.

Kate Vousden, Event Manager at the charity said: "It costs us £11 million a year to run our care services. We rely heavily on people like Matt and George who are raising  an incredible amount of money."

Matt and George now work full-time in London, so finding time to train has been difficult.

Mr Farmiloe said: "We tried to get out on the water as much as possible over the summer."

"The last month of training has been purely gym based because the boat has been shipped out to the start line."

Their boat, Pegasus, was purchased from someone who previously competed in the race. 

Mr Bladen said: "The boat is 8m long, and there's one cabin at each end which is where we sleep and keep the navigation and radio equipment."

Anyone who wishes to donate should visit the Worcester Buoys JustGiving page and to follow their journey visit