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Atlantic challenge student Callum, 20, becomes youngest to row an ocean

Published 17/02/2016

La Gomera in the Canary Islands, where Callum Gathercole set off on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December
La Gomera in the Canary Islands, where Callum Gathercole set off on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December

A British student is believed to have become the youngest solo athlete to row an ocean.

Callum Gathercole, 20, crossed the finish line in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, nearly two months after starting the 3,000-mile (4,828km) race in the Canary Islands.

The experienced rower, who is studying aerospace engineering at the University of Bristol, left La Gomera on December 20 and arrived in Antigua's English Harbour in the Caribbean in the early hours of Wednesday.

In doing so, in a time of 58 days, 15 hours and 15 minutes, race organisers said he has became the youngest solo rower to cross an ocean.

Mr Gathercole said: "It feels amazing now to be in Antigua.

"There were definitely some difficult days rowing where you knew you had to keep going in tough conditions if you wanted to continue making progress, but it was also a brilliant challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed taking on."

The student competed in the arduous challenge to raise money for the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, Surrey, in memory of his father who was cared for by staff before he died two years ago. He has raised more than £85,000 so far.

He battled tropical storms, 40ft (12m) waves and sleep deprivation to complete the race, dubbed the world's toughest row.

Mr Gathercole, originally from Surrey, has been rowing since the age of nine and has taken part in events including the Henley Royal Regatta. He has also represented Great Britain in the European and World Internationals in 2012 and 2013.

To follow the progress of the race, visit: www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/race-tracker/

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