Belfast Telegraph

Joyful rowers break Atlantic record

A British-led rowing team today broke a 114-year-old record for crossing the North Atlantic from New York to the Isles of Scilly.

The challenge team, skippered by Leven Brown, 37, from Edinburgh, crossed the finishing line at St Mary's Harbour at around 4pm after almost 44 days at sea, a spokeswoman for Artemis Ocean Racing said.

Their time - 43 days, 21 hours, 26 minutes and 48 seconds - knocked 11 days off the 55-day record set by Norwegian fishermen George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen in 1896.

Mr Brown said: "I'm absolutely over the moon, exhausted, elated, ecstatic to be here in the Scilly Isles. It's a great, great day.

"I'm very proud of the lads and everybody involved in the boat and proud of the boat, she's taken a hammering. I'm just really proud to be a part of it."

The new record-holders are the Artemis North Atlantic Rowing Challenge team which also includes Ray Carroll, 33, from Galway, Don Lennox, 41, from Bellshill, Glasgow, and Livar Nysted, 39, from the Faroe Islands.

Harbo and Samuelson's record-making row started on June 6, 1896, and the pair reached the Scilly Isles on August 1.

The new record-holders endured two false starts following bad conditions and technical issues, but successfully left New York on June 17 this year in their 23ft vessel named Artemis Investments.

During two months at sea, the team battled 10-metre waves, a bout of food poisoning and narrowly avoided crashing into fishing boats in 35-knot winds. They managed to set a new 24-hour record of 118 miles on July 14, previously held at 117 miles by Brown and his team in La Mondiale on the Trade Winds route on January 3, 2008.

(Artemis North Atlantic Rowing Challenge)

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