Just after 15:30 on Tuesday 14th January 2014, Locura Rows The Atlantic finished the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 1st place.
After over 41 days of non-stop rowing for 2,724 nautical miles, Mike Burton, 53 from Yorkshire, and Tom Salt, 30 of Chichester, crossed the finish line in English Harbour, Antigua. They previously came 4th in the 2010 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race together so they were no strangers to the ocean, “Mike and I are absolutely ecstatic to have won! We’re no strangers to extreme challenges, but this is definitely the hardest thing we’ve ever done and pushed us to new limits both physically and mentally. We will be celebrating this evening with our friends and family – and the burger we have been dreaming about since day one!” Their boat, Locura (Spanish for 'Madness'), is a new style Rannoch pairs boat which has a different layout to the Adkins boats. The cabin sits behind the rowers, making the boat more streamlined and a smaller ballast which means they were carrying less water. These differences to the other boats gave them an advantage which meant they had to compete in the open category rather than pairs. The team have raised over £50,000 for their charity of choice the Generous Hearts Foundation.
A week later Bobby, Henry and James (all professional polo players) and Fergus (a Henley rowing champion) of Atlantic Polo came in 1st in the fours category and 2nd place overall, after 48 days at sea. They have raised over £15,000 so far for Right To Play, Brookes and Hilton in the Community Foundation. “The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is something we feel extremely privileged to have experienced, yet would not have wished upon our worst enemies – we have been through hell and back again out there. Most did not expect us to even get to the start line!" Henry Brett comments after two of the team got thrown overboard by 40 foot waves. Atlantic Polo had support from Stokey as a weather router and were set on the same route as Atlantic Row.
Later in the day fellow four Row 2 Recovery crossed the finish line in 3rd place. Consisting of Trooper Cayle Royce and Corporal Scott Blaney, both amputees after serving in Afghanistan and Mark and James, both army captains. They have been raising money for Help For Heroes with a current total of over £18,000. Cayle reflects on coming in 3rd place "If you had told us beforehand that we had a good chance of finishing in the top three I would have been skeptical. But here we are. We are all soldiers and we all always set out to do our best, we just didn’t really know it would be this good! It is amazing achievement and we are all so proud – not bad for a couple of ‘hop-a-trots’, a ginger beard and physio!"
Atlantic Row 2013 are on course to cross the finish line early Monday morning in 1st place in pairs and 4th place overall. You can follow their progress and the other remaining teams using the Yellowbrick App.