After an incredible 32 days, 22 hours and four minutes on the water, the four Irish rowers raising money for the CUH Children’s Unit are back on dry land.
Eoin O’Farrell from Ballinlough, Sean Underwood from Blarney, Patrick O‘Connor from Castletownroche and Thomas Browne from Dublin, the Relentless Rowers, set out from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 14 and this morning arrived in Antigua in the Caribbean.
They were greeted by a crowd of supporters when they reached land shortly after 5am local team (9am Irish time), setting off flares and sounding air horns in celebration.
It is a journey of 5000 kilometres and the men battled the weather, physical exhaustion and homesickness to complete the daunting challenge.
Family and friends rushed to book flights and hotels and make it over to Antigua to welcome them ashore. The foursome were initially expected to reach their destination around January 20 but made good going in the latter stages of the race.
Patrick O’Connor thanked their many supporters and sponsors.
“Hey everyone, thank you so much for all the support,” he said. “We did the rowing but without your support it wouldn’t have happened. Love you all, we can’t wait to see you back in Ireland.” The Relentless Rowers were participating in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge, an annual race where solo rowers, pairs, trios and foursomes attempt the epic journey. They were the sixth team home out of the 26 taking part, and fourth home in the foursomes category. Five boats were forced to drop out during the race. Before this year’s race the world record for the crossing was 35 days.
The Relentless Rowers were sponsored by Affidea and also received assistance and support from the Port of Cork and CH Marine as they prepared in Ireland before heading to the Canary Islands.
The four rowers have also raised more than €20,000 for their charity, the CUH Children’s Unit. The funds raised will go towards helping to equip the new unit with state-of-the-art equipment, purchase high-flow oxygen for respiratory conditions and provide resources to look after children’s educational needs during hospital stays.