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NewsSailingBritish-led rowing crew smash 19th century trans-Atlantic record

British-led rowing crew smash 19th century trans-Atlantic record

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By Pete Wilson

31 July 2010

A four-man rowing crew, skippered by a Scotsman, Leven Brown, have completed a trans-Atlantic crossing today, coming ashore at the Scilly Isles and smashing a 114-year-old record for a US to UK rowing voyage.

The crew, who have been homing in on their target over the last few days, left New York on 17 June.  They have spent more than 43 days at sea and rowed more than 3,000 miles in their boat, Artemis Investments. They broke the previous record, set by a pair of Norwegian fishermen in 1986, by 11 days.

They reached the Scilly Isles today to complete the crossing in 43 days, 21 hours, 26 minutes and 48 seconds and were greeted with a reception of boats, spectators and aircrafts.

Skippered by Brown, from Edinburgh, the crew was also made up of Ray Carroll from Galway, Don Lennox from Glasgow and Livar Nysted from the Faroe Islands. Between them they already have thousands of ocean rowing miles under their belts, but this successful attempt sees them break not only the 114-year-old North Transatlantic crossing record but in addition the record for the most ocean miles rowed in a 24 hour period – 118 miles – on 14 July 2010.

The journey has been far from plain sailing; conditions were so bad that the attempt had to be stopped and restarted twice, but it was third time lucky and there was no turning back despite regular 10-metre waves and 35 knot gales.

Brown said on arrival: “This is one of the most amazing days ever.  We are so happy to be here.  It has been a really tough trip and we have had a huge amount to content with.  Every bit of technology that we had seemed to break – in the end it came down to four men and four oars.

“We now need to shower, eat and sleep but thank you to everyone who has turned out today to see us in, it was an incredible welcome.  Also to all those that have followed us and sent us messages – it has made a huge difference.  We couldn’t have done it without so much help and support.”

The original 55-day record was set by George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen; 30 failed attempts have been made on the record since.

Bette Horton, the grandaughter of Harbo, sent a message to the crew from her home in Hasville, Tennessee, saying: “Congratulations for remaking history with your cross- Atlantic row. Your row is a major milestone and we applaud you for beating the record set 114 years ago when our grandfather, George Harbo and his mate, Frank Samuelsen, were the first ever to row the Atlantic in 1896. Capsizing in 30-plus-foot-high waves and their rescue are only part of their adventures. The $10,000 reward promised, never came.

“It is exhilarating to re-live the excitement again as we share the news of your heroic journey. We hope to connect with all of you sometime, some place as you pass down your tales to your descendents anxious to inherit your place in history. We are inspired by your courage and spirit. Hip, hip, hooray.”

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