BRITISH TEAM WINS WORLD'S TOUGHEST ROWING RACETuesday 14th January 2014
Brits Mike Burton and Tom Salt (Locura Rows the Atlantic) have beaten 15 international teams to win the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, the world’s toughest rowing race. They completed the gruelling 3,000 mile race from La Gomera, Canary Islands, to Antigua in 41 days, 2 hours and 38 minutes.
Rowing in shifts of two hours on, two hours off, 53-year-old Mike and 30-year-old Tom who make up Team Locura, competed in the arduous race to raise money for the Generous Hearts Foundation. Rower Tom comments on their win: "Mike and I are absolutely ecstatic to have won the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge! 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!”
Talisker Brand Manager Sophie Brookes comments: "The 2013/14 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge has definitely been living up to its name as the world’s toughest rowing race – the weather has been particularly tough for our teams this year, with an enormous storm hitting the fleet within a few days of the race beginning. Talisker is made by the on the rugged Isle of Skye in Scotland; at times it can mirror the conditions the rowers are facing. Mike and Tom have shown great determination since day one and we would like to congratulate them on their phenomenal win on behalf of everyone at Talisker.”
The team have battled 40ft waves, tropical storms, seasickness, sleep deprivation, excruciating body sores, a capsize and even an encounter with a six-metre marlin which left a small hole in their boat.
Mike from Yorkshire met Tom, originally from Chichester and now living in London, in 2010 when they competed in the same crew of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race where they finished in fourth place. Tom's also completed seven marathons and Mike regularly skydives.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge saw 16 teams from around the world start the race on the 4th December 2013 from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. With two teams airlifted to safety following capsizes and one team rescued by a passing Bulk-carrier ship, only 13 teams remain in the world’s toughest rowing race.
In order of position, here are the 13 teams still competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge:
• Atlantic Polo: Three professional English polo players Bobby Melville, James Glasson and Henry Brett, are rowing with teammate Fergus Scholes. The team of four are participating in this gruelling race to raise money for The Brooke, Hilton in the Community Foundation and Right to Play. To read further information about the team, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/atlantic-polo-team/.
• Row2Recovery: Two injured servicemen and two able-bodied members of the Armed Forces from the UK are raising money for Help for Heroes. Trooper Cayle Royce and Corporal Scott Blaney, both of whom suffered life-altering injuries whilst on duty in Afghanistan, are rowing across the Atlantic Ocean with Captain James Kayll and Captain Mark Jenkins. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/row-2-recovery/.
• Adventure 4 a Cure: Australian soloist Andrew Abrahams is rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for the Lions Club of Rochedale Springwood and Couee Community. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is particularly difficult for soloists because the boat has to be anchored when competitors are sleeping to ensure the boat does not drift off course. For further information about Andrew’s crossing, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/adventure-for-a-cure/.
• Atlantic Row 2013: Londoners Dan Howie and Will North are raising money for Cancer Research, Leukemia & Lymphoma Research and St Anna’s. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/atlantic-row-2013/.
• 2 Boys in a Boat: Jamie Sparks and Luke Birch from the UK are raising money for Breast Cancer Care. To find out more please visit: http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/2-boys-in-a-boat/.
• Nordic Endurance: Stefan Erlandsson and Erik Grafstörm from Sweden are hoping to break the current record for a pairs row across the Atlantic Ocean. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/nordic-endurance/.
• Bolton Atlantic Challenge: Mark Brocklehurst, Nick Griffiths, Matt Nuttall and Finn Christo are from Bolton, UK. Having never rowed before, the team made the decision to take on the world’s toughest rowing race two years ago to raise money for local charity Bolton Lads and Girls Club. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/bolton-atlantic-challenge/.
• Team Prosecta: Jimmy Strandberg and Frederik Nilsson from Sweden are testing their friendship to the limit by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean together. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/prosecta/.
• Atlantic Inspiration: Viktor Mattsen from Sweden attempted to row across the Atlantic in 2011, but crashed out half way through due to a violent storm. Viktor is rowing with Scott Etherington from the UK to raise money for Diabetes UK and Barncancer. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/atlantic-inspiration/.
• Atlantic Forces: Warren Burns, Howie Raw, Jane McIntosh and Liz Beauchamp from the RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, are rowing together to raise awareness and money for the Alzheimer’s Society, RAF Benevolent Fund and Action for Children. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/atlantic-forces/.
• Atlantic Quad: Neil Blackeby, Hamish Stewart and Eoin Hartwright are raising money for Cool Earth and Helen and Douglas House. To find out more, please visit: http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/atlantic-trio/.
• Inspirational Friends: Friends Hannah Lawton and Lauren Morton are raising money for Myton Hospice and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in memory of their friend who died aged 23 of cervical cancer. To find out more, please visit: http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/inspirational-friends/.
Team rescued during the race:
• Atlantic Splash: Neal Marsh, Marc Alderman, Tom Hyland, Bastien LeClair and Terry Munson from Kent and Sussex are rowing to raise £200,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Tall Ships Youth Trust, British Heart Foundation and the Macular Society. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/atlantic-splash/.
Astro Sweden: Swedish soloist Christer Kjellner. Christer has wanted to row across the Atlantic Ocean since he was a child. For further information, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/astrosweden/.
• Team Neas Energy: Nick Rees and Ed Curtis will be rowing to raise £250,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer after Nick’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 33. To read about their story, please visit http://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-teams/team-neas-energy/.
Follow the progress of all of the teams by visiting www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com.
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