Benedict Tufnell
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Within Touching Distance: A Record Breaking Row

by Benedict Tufnell

British crew ‘The Four Oarsman’ are set to make history when they touch dry land on the island of Antigua late tonight, where they will arrive as the fastest four humans to have ever traversed the Atlantic Ocean under man-power alone.

Having set off on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from the Canary Islands on December 14 2017, the crew of Peter Robinson, George Biggar, Dicky Taylor and Stuart Watts have since rowed over 2,600 miles, sharing the load in mind-numbing and relentless, two-hour-on two-hour-off shifts.

“Let’s pray for a uneventful last three days.”

Their record speed in favourable conditions however, means their ordeal is set to conclude at around 11pm tonight local time after a relatively spritely 29 days at sea.

It will mark a significant improvement on both the current four man record, set in 2016, which stands at 35 days and the overall record of 31 days set in 2011 by a crew of six. Until they arrive however, both the crew and organisers of what is billed as ‘the world’s toughest row’ will be taking little for granted.

The Four Oarsman, during preparations for the start in the Canary Islands. Photo ©Ben Duffy/Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

“‘It will be more difficult approaching and finishing at Antigua in the dark.” The rowers have said in a recent update via satellite phone. “We are taking advice on the best way to approach. The predicted wind seems to be favourable. Let’s pray for a uneventful last three days.”

The race, which spans nearly 3,000 nautical miles between La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda, still has 21 crews on track to finish, while five teams so far have been forced to withdraw.

Currently the quartet are around 40 nautical miles from reaching the small island of Antigua. Track their progress and the other crews still to finish here.

1 Comment

  1. Michelle

    I’m Jordan Beecher’s Mum who is rowing in the pairs Row2recovery.
    Bloody well done boys. Amazing, we have followed you all the way.
    Row2recovery are on your tail.
    Everyone who has been in this race 2017 what a fantastic performance from you all.
    Can’t wait to see you all in Antigua
    Well done


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