Four Oarsmen smash Atlantic rowing record

The Four Oarsmen celebrate their world record.
The Four Oarsmen celebrate their world record.

A hardy team of rowers, including a farmer from north Northumberland, have broken the course record in a gruelling Transatlantic race.

The Four Oarsmen, aka Peter Robinson, from West Ditchburn Farm, near Eglingham, as well as George Biggar, Dicky Taylor and Stuart Watts, completed their row across the Atlantic in the early hours of this morning. You can watch a video of their arrival here.

The intrepid group braved all to tackle the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – a 3,000-mile row from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, at Antigua and Barbuda, which they finished in 29 days and 15 hours.

They beat the previous Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge race record of 35 days and raised £250,000 for charity. Race organisers said they believed the quartet completed the fastest Atlantic row of all time too, as well as in race history.

The Oarsmen have been tackling the feat in a 25-foot boat, relying solely on their own manpower, routing and interpretation of the weather conditions, battling against ungodly sleep patterns, physical exhaustion and unpredictable seas.They planned to adopt a pattern of rowing for two hours and sleeping for two hours throughout the challenge. They have had to process sea water from the ocean through a solar-powered unit, while dried ration packs and food plucked from the ocean have been on the menu.

While the team had glory in its sights when they set out in mid-December, the men will also be delighted that their efforts to cross the world’s second largest ocean have helped them raise money for two charities which are close to their hearts – Mind, the mental health charity and Spinal Research.

Andy Hindhaugh, commercial director at McCreath, Simpson and Prentice, which sponsored The Four Oarsmen, said: “The whole team at McCreath, Simpson and Prentice wants to congratulate the Four Oarsmen on their absolutely amazing achievement. They undertook a brutal challenge and with sheer determination, skill and endurance, they have not only completed this challenge, but gained a world record. It is a real credit to them as individuals and as a team, and we are honoured to be associated with their success."

Dicky used to live in Northumberland, but is now based in Houston, Texas, while George and Stuart live in the London area.