A ROYAL Marine Commando is hoping to row his way into the record books by taking on the Atlantic Ocean.

Matthew Mason has flown to Gran Canaria this week, but instead of a boozy weekend with the boys, the 24-year-old will be taking to the high seas in an attempt to break the Atlantic rowing speed record.

The former St Mary’s College student will row 2,598 miles from Gran Canaria to Barbados with a team of colleagues – a challenge that, if completed in less than 30 days, will see them named as world record holders.

Matthew, who lives in Clayton-le-Moors, and the rest of the eight-strong crew hope their epic journey will raise £20,000 money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

They will begin their journey any day now, depending on weather conditions.

Matthew said: “The current record stands at 32 days but with good weather and strong arms, we hope to beat that.

“The crossing will be done with four men rowing and four men resting in two-hour shifts – battling with high seas, immense fatigue, rapid weight loss and sore bottoms.”

The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund works to support serving members of the Royal Marines and their families and especially helps those who are injured during warfare and so far, Matthew has raised £5,526.27.

Matthew said: “As a Royal Marine Commando having served three tours of Afghanistan, I have seen what operations can not only do to men both mentally and physically, and also what it can do to their families and loved ones. The charity supports wounded Royal Marines and their families, especially those making the hard transition from military to civilian life.

“And they provide ongoing support to Royal Marines who face or have faced successive tours in high threat environments such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

“More people have climbed Mount Everest and been into space than have rowed an ocean.”

To support Matthew’s row, text MARE50 followed by how much you want to donate to 70070.