Rice University volunteer coaches to row across the Atlantic

HOUSTON - Two Rice University Rowing Club volunteer coaches have entered a 3,000 mile rowing race that will take them across the Atlantic in December. 

Michael Lee Matson and David Eric Alviar partnered with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Texas Dragon Boat Association to build the first water-sports boathouse along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou. They entered the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge to garner support for their cause. 

They will be the first American team to enter the competition in four years and the first Texas team to enter. The race starts in La Gomera in the Canary Islands and ends in Antigua in the Caribbean. 

"The whole reason we're doing this in part is the crew changed our lives, we know the power it has and we want to give that back to our students," said Alviar. 

Mayor Annise Parker announced her support for the cause on Friday and asked Houstonians to help.

Alviar and Matson have named their boat "Anne", in honor of firefighter Anne Sullivan who died in the 2013 Southwest Inn fire in Houston.

You can make donations for boathouse on the coaches' Row4Rice website.

Alviar and Matson said they will be live-tweeting their 3,000-mile adventure. 

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