And then we swam

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by Ben Finney

In August 2011, James Adair and Ben Stenning hit the news when they became the first ever pair to row across the Indian Ocean without a support boat. But a few miles from the finish line in Mauritius, their boat capsized - and they had to swim for their lives. Far from being extreme athletes, neither had actually ever rowed before in their lives. But four months earlier, determined to prove their doubters wrong, they got their secondhand boat to the start line on the west coast of Australia, and set off. Some adventures are so well planned that nothing is left to chance. But as they lost sight of land, James and Ben took a step into the unknown. Rowing in shifts, around the clock, they learned to cope with solitude, pain and fear on a stuttering voyage of 3,500 miles, until - agonisingly close to land - disaster struck.

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