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Rowing for the record

Mar. 15, 2012 - 06:51PM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 15, 2012 - 06:51PM  |  
Former Army Sgt. Bryan Fuller is part of an elite squad of international rowers making their way across the Atlantic.
Former Army Sgt. Bryan Fuller is part of an elite squad of international rowers making their way across the Atlantic. (Photo courtesy of Bryan Fuller)
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Former Army Sgt. Bryan Fuller picked up an oar for the first time less than a year ago, and now he's part of an elite squad of international rowers pulling their way across the Atlantic one stroke at a time with the singular goal of smashing the international speed record.

Leaving the Canary Islands on Feb. 26 with the rising sun, the eight-man crew of the Titan will have to traverse 2,598 miles to Port St. Charles, Barbados, in less than 32 days in order to claim the trans-Atlantic speed trophy.

Their goal is to shatter the current record with a backbreaking 4-minute-mile pace.

"The reason I'm doing this row is that I want to raise awareness about veterans rowing," said Fuller, shortly before heading out to sea. Fuller fueled his newfound interest by joining Community Rowing, a Boston-area club that caters to veterans in particular.

Fuller served in the Army from 1994 to 1999 with tours in Bosnia and Germany.

A buddy from that club, disabled former Marine Sgt. Andrew "Dallas" Rosacker, who suffered gunshot wounds and two severe head injuries while serving with reconnaissance units downrange, is showing his support by racking up virtual miles on a rowing machine four times a week at the club's boathouse.

To get to the other side of the Atlantic, however, Fuller is on full-time duty. He's rowing as much as 18 hours a day, trading off crewmates in nonstop shifts behind the boat's four pairs of oars and catching what sleep he can in "coffin" bunks under the open-air rowing deck, said his trainer, Christine Obusek.

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