A solo rower has dealt with tough weather conditions in the first week of his bid to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a world record time.

Dad-of-four Charlie Pitcher, of Alderton Close, Felsted, set off from La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, on Wednesday afternoon.

He will be rowing for 16 hours a day and getting only four hours of sleep a night as he continues his mammoth journey towards Barbados.

On Sunday, Royal Burnham Yacht Club member Charlie said: “The conditions are on the limit for me and I’m losing out on rest as it is so wild. ‘Crash, bang, what was that?’ is what has been going through my mind constantly.

“The weather is due to get stronger over the next two days, not really looking forward to that. I would like to have just one or two days of lighter weather so I can take control.”

Charlie, 50, says he has been checking his wrist watch every hour as he attempts to beat the world record of 40 days, nine hours and 44 minutes.

He said: “I am making very good mileage, but am actually looking forward to some calmer conditions so that I can get into a rhythm.”

Charlie is raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the C Group. To follow his progress, visit transatlanticsolo.com