The Wiltshire dads currently rowing the Atlantic to raise money for a cancer charity are looking forward to a treat for their Christmas Day dinner – a £1 tin of mango.

Policeman and former Devizes schoolboy Ed Smith and Great Bedwyn engineer Adam Green will be sharing the non-traditional festive meal with their mates from Thatcham Rob Murray and Jack Biss as they take a brief break from rowing 3,000 miles in their 28ft boat.

“They are planning a Secret Santa, followed by tinned mango for dinner and then they’ll be back on the oars again,” said Adam’s wife, Phillipa.

And the brave four taking the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge will also be back on their daily diet – of sweets, lots and lots of sweets.

“They’ve got 15 kilos of sweets onboard, including Haribos, strawberry laces, Percy Pigs and 500 chocolate bars,” said Phillipa.

Although the diet sounds like the unhealthiest ever, Phillipa, an expert nutritionist who runs Savernake Nutrition near Marlborough, explained that an instant sugar fix is precisely what the team need to keep going on their gruelling schedule of rowing two hours on, two hours off, 24 hours a day every day for the 40-day voyage.

“The main concern is that they get enough calories as they’ll be burning around 12,000 a day. They won’t be feeling hungry because they’ll be too tired, so they must eat,” said Phillipa.

“If they don’t eat enough they won’t get energy and their brain power could drop off and they could make the wrong navigation calculation, so they have to keep mentally alert. And because they only have two-hour breaks they don’t need high fibre, whatever they eat has to be easily digested, including nuts and dehydrated meals which are essentially posh Pot Noodles.”

Phillipa spoke to Adam on the boat’s satellite phone last week and she is hoping to hear from him again on Christmas Day. And so far the news is all good from the pals who have taken the challenge to raise funds for Victoria’s Promise, the charity which helped Ed’s wife Anna before she tragically died of cancer in 2018 at the age of just 38.

“They are doing really well, they said they’ve had no seasickness,” said Phillipa, “But they’ve had no wind either, apparently the sea is just flat. And they said it’s hot, very hot, 40 degrees in the cabin.”

Before the boat cast off, Ed said: “Throughout Anna's treatment, she was supported by the amazing charity, Victoria's Promise, which helps support women aged 21 to 45 who have cancer. We are proud to be raising money for this charity who change people's lives with the support and services they offer and friendship groups they create.”

Although they only left La Gomera in Spain on December 12 and have a long way to go yet on their voyage to Antigua, they have already raised £26,000 towards their £100,000 target. To donate to the Anna Victorious appeal go to: