Date: Friday 14 March 2014
A team of rowers have succeeded in their epic mission to cross the Atlantic Ocean with the help of sponsorship from Taylor Wimpey.
The four-man crew began their 3,000-mile journey on 22nd December from La Gomera in the Canary Islands and completed the challenge in 43 days, crossing the finish line in Antigua.
Among the team was Eoin Hartwright, who has become the youngest person ever to row across the Atlantic, setting out on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge a few weeks before his 17th birthday.
The journey is known as the world’s toughest rowing challenge and Eoin – together with crewmates Mathew Collier (49), Tom Alden (30) and Eoin’s uncle Simon Hartwright (40) – faced sleep deprivation, soaring temperatures and even swordfish attacks.
Eoin, from Appleford in Oxfordshire, says: “The hardest part was the sleep deprivation. We would row for two hours and then have a two-hour rest. It was exhausting but you get into a routine. The heat was also very tough, especially around midday. One day we recorded a temperate of 92F in the cabin, so it was impossible to sleep down there.
“The scariest moment we had was when a swordfish started circling our boat. We heard a crewman in a boat ahead of us had been speared by a swordfish, so that was very worrying.
“We also saw a huge whale. The sun had just gone down and we could just about see the water. A 60ft wave came at us and we were trying to surf it when 10ft ahead of us we saw this whale pop up. It was twice the size of our boat and it splashed down next to us. It was incredible.
“I didn’t think so many people would be following our progress but since I’ve been home I’ve been overwhelmed by the support. I was even in Tesco the other day and someone recognised me and came over to say well done.
“I’ve wanted to do this since I was 13 and I am over the moon to have completed it. I’ve been offered the chance to do another rowing challenge but for now I need to get back to my studies and the family farm.”
We pledged £2,000 in sponsorship towards the cost of the team’s Atlantic Challenge, which has raised more than £6,000 for their chosen charity, Helen and Douglas House.
Darren McCormack, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey, says: “We’d like to offer our congratulations to Eoin and his crewmates on completing this mammoth challenge, crossing the Atlantic in just 43 days.
“We were delighted to be able to sponsor the team and wish Eoin well in whatever challenge he decides to conquer next!”