TWO HAMPSHIRE brothers planning to row the Atlantic for charity are celebrating today after landing their biggest sponsorship deal so far.

The Skin Health Alliance has given Greg Bailey, 27, and Jude Massey, 18, £15,000 as they prepare to make the 3,000-mile journey from Gran Canaria to Barbados.

All the sponsorship cash they secure will offset the cost of the voyage, helping them raise £100,000 for the British Skin Foundation.

The two men, who call themselves the Ocean Brothers, aim to make the trip early next year in memory of Peter Massey - Jude’s father and Greg’s stepfather.

The Lymington businessman, inset, died aged 63 in August 2015 after battling skin cancer for 16 years.

He was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma at the age of 49 and underwent an operation, but the cancer returned and eventually entered his skull.

As his condition deteriorated he lost an eye and became so disfigured he lacked the confidence to leave his house.

Announcing the sponsorship deal Greg, 27, and Jude, 18, said: “Skin Health Alliance’s kind generosity will go a long way towards supporting a cause that both Jude and I hold so dear to our hearts.

“We feel the Alliance is a perfect sponsor as they, too, are committed to supporting skin disease charities such as the British Skin Foundation.”

The money donated by the Skin Health Alliance will go towards the cost of buying food for the voyage and insuring the boat.

James Stalley, the Alliance’s business manager added: “We are proud to support Greg and Jude with this amazing challenge.”

“As a not-for-profit organisation, the Alliance is committed to donating surplus income to skin charities.

“By helping the Ocean Brothers we are not only reaffirming our commitment to supporting good causes but also investing in their dedication, determination and courage by using our donation to raise even more money for the British Skin Foundation.”

The Ocean Brothers are planning to make their epic voyage in a tiny 20ft boat that was displayed at the New Forest Show this week. Their eight-week journey across the world’s second largest ocean will be a major test of both physical and psychological strength.

Only 317 crews have successfully crossed the Atlantic. That compares with 536 individuals have been into space and more than 5,500 people who have climbed Mount Everest.

Conditions on the boat will be basic, with only enough food for 50 days.

The two men will have to rely on solar panels to power a machine that will provide them with drinking water and fresh water to rehydrate freeze-dried meals.