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WAY TO ROW!; Marines halfway across the Pacific.

Byline: TOM NEWTON DUNN

TWO Royal Marines last night reached the halfway point in their attempt to row the North Pacific without backup.

Jubilant Corporals Tim Welford and Dominic Mee - sponsored by The Mirror - said: "Now we're coming home."

They aim to be the first to cross the ocean unassisted and set a new world record.

After 103 days they have passed the midway mark of 2,553 miles. But they have been pounded by tropical storms with 60ft waves.

Dom, 32, of Exmouth, Devon, said by satellite link: "It feels great to have broken the back of it. We're definitely beginning to get tired so it's a case of looking out for each other in case we start to make mistakes."

Tim, 32, of Poole, Dorset, added: "We are missing our wives the most. I am also really looking forward to a cool pint of lager."

They left Japan in their 24ft boat - fittingly named Crackers - in May and hope to reach San Francisco by November.

-FOLLOW their progress on website www.pacific-odyssey.co.uk

tom.newtondunn@mirror.co.uk

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JOY: Dom at sea
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2001
Words:187
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