A FORMER SAS soldier will make world history today (August 23) by becoming the first person to row from New York to the Isles of Scilly on his own and without GPS.

When he lands, he'll have set a new record for Atlantic rowing.

Ian Rivers left New York on May 31 and will have spent 85 days at sea. He has rowed more than 3100 miles and has been out of sight of land for three months.

To claim an unsupported row, Ian must reach land without any assistance. Nobody can have any physical contact with him or the boat or hand anything over to him until he has reached St Mary's Harbour and walked up the steps. The time will be taken by the adjudicator for the Ocean Rowing Association.

He has capsized on three occasions and, during a force 10 storm a few weeks ago, he was trapped upside down with the cabin filling with water. He has described it as an utterly terrifying ordeal. As his maps were destroyed, he is now navigating just by using his compass and attempting to take sextant readings.

The numerous storms have also caused significant damage to Sentinel, the boat. He has had to repair the steering and construct a new rudder. He has lost most of his communication devices and he's only able to charge the batteries by using solar panels.

In the worst capsize, he hit his head, back and shoulder and sustained a number of broken ribs and concussion. He's still feeling battered and bruised.

The 55-year-old, who lives in Hereford, is doing the challenge to try and raise half a million pounds for two charities; the SAS Association's Sentinel programme which supports former members of 22 squadron and St Michael's Hospice in Herefordshire.

Visit www.rowsentinel.com for more information.