Four Brits have set a new world record to become the first team to row across the Atlantic in under 30 days, raising more than £250,000 for charity.
Friends Dicky Taylor, George Biggar, Peter Robinson and Stuart Watts – also known as The Four Oarsmen – crossed the finish line of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge just after 2am on Saturday morning.
The rowed into English Bay, Antigua, after 29 days and 15 hours at sea, beating the previous record by six days.
The quartet entered the 3,000 mile race as a fundraiser for charities Mind and Spinal Research UK, in memory of Mr Biggar’s mother Anne Fisher and in support of Mr Robinson’s friend Ben Kende.
Speaking moments after arriving in the harbour, Mr Biggar, a real estate lawyer for international firm Taylor Wessing in London, said: “It’s amazing to complete the row.
“We set out with it as a charity initiative for two charities. For me personally, the Mind element is commemorative for mum who struggled with mental illness through her life.
“I always felt a need and desire to do something to commemorate mum, and to bring that to fruition and to complete it – to do it such justice in such style with such great support is amazing.”
Mr Biggar’s mother was a highly successful lawyer who struggled with serious depression.
Tragically she lost her battle with mental illness in 2011 when she was found washed up on the seashore near the family home.
The Oarsmen also supported Spinal Research after Mr Robinson’s friend Ben Kende, a rising star of Hong Kong rugby, suffered a spinal cord injury in 2010.
The accident left Mr Kende tetraplegic with limited use of his arms and no use of his legs. He was only 18 when this life changing injury happened.
Mr Kende said: “This is all pretty amazing, incredible really. He’s [Peter] is a bloody good bloke and a stand up guy. To do this for a friend is really something.
“Peter visited me a few times in hospital, and I think he saw how important charities like Spinal Research are. It’s pretty important to me and a lot of the people in my life, so I’m just very grateful to them.”
The quartet were expecting to take 40 days to complete the row – but families of the crew had to rebook flights to greet them as they progressed well ahead of schedule.
Mr Biggar, Mr Robinson, a 32-year-old farmer from Alnwick in Northumberland, Mr Watts, a 34-year-old account director from Gloucester, and Mr Taylor, a 32-year-old IT consultant from Corbridge in Northumberland, led the 25-team fleet from very early on in the race.
They battled sea sickness, 40ft waves, hallucinations and chronic fatigue, but had their spirits lifted through a chance encounter with a minke whale and a calf which swam underneath their 26ft fibreglass vessel in the middle of the ocean.
Race organisers said they believed the quartet completed the fastest Atlantic row of all time, as well as in race history.
Lisa Everingham, global Talisker marketing manager, said: “We are delighted for Four Oarsmen and their epic, record-breaking win, which is a truly unbelievable achievement.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/13/uk-quartet-celebrate-breaking-atlantic-rowing-record/