Ocean Reunion, a team of four British men, have won the 2016 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in record time. Commonly hailed as one of the most physically and mentally challenging races that a human can take part in, the quartet from East Anglia rowed their way into the record books after completing the race in 37 days and nine hours. Have set out to win, the guys were ecstatic with their win.
Speaking to ITV News, they talked about the harrowing experiences they faced which included hallucinations, huge waves, storms, sharks and exhaustion. Angus Collins, whose sister Bella was a member of second placed RowLikeAGirl, skippered the voyage and spoke of the team’s jubilation at crossing the line.
“We’re ecstatic to have won the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and this huge welcome in Antigua has blown us away.
“It was incredibly tough and we’re so glad it’s over but it was such a fantastic experience. I wouldn’t do it again in a hurry but if any of these guys asked, I’d absolutely do it again”.
Meanwhile, Row Like A Girl finished yesterday after an incredible journey which also wrote them into the record books as the fastest all female team to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Greeted by hundreds of family members, friends and well-wishers, the team were hailed as an inspiration to women by race organiser Carsten Heron Olsen.
The team, who are aiming to raise £50000 for PLAN International, completed the crossing in just over 40 days, finished second overall and spoke of the times when they ‘questioned their sanity’.
Gee Purdy, speaking to the Guardian, said that the crossing had been hugely challenging.
“There’s no doubt that there were times where you question your sanity, sitting in the middle of the Atlantic in a rowing boat, oars in and a massive storm tossing you around the ocean.
“The feeling though of pure ecstasy to see the finishing line, to see our families and friends after 40 days made it all worth it. It has been an extraordinary journey with three of the most amazing girls.”
Photograph copyrighted to Ben Duffy