TWO brothers have jetted off to the Canary Islands yesterday for a mammoth 3,000nautical mile row across the Atlantic to raise funds in memory of an Alloa firefighter, who tragically died on the job.

Years of planning, long negotiations for sponsorship and many hours of building muscle are starting to pay off for Kris and Blair Elliot.

The duo, running as Team Noble, will be taking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge next month and are hoping to raise as much as £100,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity in memory of Alloa watch manager John Noble.

Up until recently Allan Huntly, a colleague of Kris who was also injured in the accident in which John lost his life, was to accompany Kris on the row, but was forced to pull out on medical advice from doctors.

However, he has made great contributions in the past years and has been excellent at swaying corporate sponsors.

Blair is no stranger to adventure either, he works as a field engineer around the North Sea and is a keen walker and climber who has completed the 484mile Camino de Santiago.

Rowing with their refitted 23ft Woodvale Paris class boat, the two brothers will burn around 8,000 calories a day and will lose about 20 per cent of their body weight over the course of the race.

It will start on Tuesday, December 12, at La Gomera in the Canary Islands and will take them to the Caribbean island of Antigua on a journey that could take anywhere between 35 and 90 days.

Along the way could be tropical storms with up to 40ft waves and sweltering heat.

Kris, 29, and Blair, 25, originally came up with the idea over a pint whilst watching Team GB rowing in the 2012 Olympics.

Fastforward a few years - it has now become a reality with Kris telling the Advertiser last week: “I'm not nervous at the moment, I'm just excited to get started.

“It's been a big part of our life for four years, it's kind of surreal that we fly out in seven days, but we've done all the preparation, we've got the equipment there. We've not really had a lot of stress because we've been quite organised in the past couple of weeks.

“I'm not nervous yet, but maybe wait until we get on the start line – things might change, but at the moment I just want to get out there and crack on with it.”

Wishing the duo good luck was Roddie Keith, local senior officer for Clackmannanshire and Stirling with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

He said: “I am very proud to wave Kris and Blair off on their adventure across the Atlantic.

“Kris followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the fire service and serving Alloa and the surrounding communities as a firefighter.

“And he is now taking on a different kind of challenge that will raise funds for an extremely worthwhile charity.”

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