Four friends are hoping to row their way into the record books when they take on the challenge of a lifetime in an epic journey across the Atlantic.

The ‘Bucks Buoys’ will spend weeks rowing 3,000 miles across the ocean, battling everything from physical and mental fatigue to dangerous conditions – including terrifying storms, 12-metre high waves and sharks – in a bid to become the oldest team to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The team of four – aged between 49 and 64 – comprises High Wycombe man Kevin Luff, Paul ‘Frankie’ Smith from Thame, Trevor Cooper from Princes Risborough and Nic Parslow from Cumnor.

The group will set sail from the Canary Islands in December 2019 and aim to cross the finish line in Antigua within 37 days, but first they will embark on a £100,000 fundraising campaign and a fitness schedule which they say will push them to their limits.

Mr Luff, a director at Loudwater-based plumbing and heating firm H2O, said: “No doubt this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and unlike anything any of us have tried before.

“We’re just four normal blokes who like going to the pub, but after we learnt about the race we decided to give it a go and now we can’t wait.

“It will be dangerous and certainly not easy, but we’re determined to give it our all.”

The Atlantic row is a gruelling endurance challenge which has been completed by fewer people than have climbed Mount Everest.

Mr Luff said: “We will take it in pairs to row for two hours on, two hours off, non-stop for the duration.

“No doubt we will face scary times and have been warned that we could capsize, but as long as we follow our training and remain safe at all times, we will hopefully have enough between us to complete it.”

As well as facing a battle against the clock to reach peak fitness, the team are also undergoing numerous training regimes to prepare for their mammoth mission.

The group, who have all known someone who has battled cancer, will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as IN-vision – a charity which was set up to research eye condition Infantile Nystagmus and is supported by Marlow’s Paralympic gold-medal winning hero Naomi Riches.

Alongside Marlow Rowing Club, Naomi has vowed to support the team in the months ahead, with the group already shedding four stone between them since preparation began in the last couple of months.

In a bid to support the Buoys on their mammoth mission, the Bucks Free Press has jumped onboard as media sponsors and, with a year to go, will chronicle the highs and lows as the team get into shape for the big row.

As part of their fundraising campaign, which has already garnered support from the likes of David Lloyd Leisure and Speeds, Bucks Buoys is looking for more sponsors.

To find out more information, or to donate, visit