Three Scottish brothers have set an astonishing world record after rowing a whopping 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in just 35 days.
The MacLean siblings, from Edinburgh, yesterday completed the epic journey from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Harbour in Antigua in the Caribbean.
Brothers Ewan, 27, Jamie, 26, and Lachlan, 21, embarked upon the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, the ‘world’s toughest row’, on December 12.
Lachlan (left), Jamie (middle), and Ewan MacLean (right) have become the youngest trio to row the Atlantic, in a record-setting 35 days, nine hours, and nine minutes
In 35 days, nine hours, and nine minutes, they rowed their 28ft-long, £50,000 lightweight R45 Rannoch rowing boat across 3,000 miles of shark-infested waters, waves reaching heights of 40ft, heavy storms, and busy shipping lanes.
Completing 1.5million strokes by keeping to a strict schedule of rowing for two hours and sleeping for one, the siblings overcame seasickness, and blisters and sores.
At their lowest, the MacLeans battled dehydration and extreme fatigue in 40-degree heat, burning 12,000 calories a day and losing around 20% of their body weight.
The brothers, known as BROAR, set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12 and completed their 3,000-mile journey to Antigua in the Caribbean yesterday
The MacLeans rowed across shark-infested waters, up to 40ft waves, heavy storms, and busy shipping lanes, completing 1.5m strokes by rowing for two hours and resting for one
Lachlan (right), Jamie (middle), and Ewan (right) here are photographed the moment they arrive in Antigua, holding a banner that boasts: ‘We rowed the Atlantic’
Eldest brother Ewan, a design engineer for Dyson in Bristol, called the feat ‘the defining experience of my life’, adding: It was incredibly difficult but the way we came together, the way our bodies and minds coped with every single challenge, will stay with me for a long time’
They even suffered with battery issues, and rowed for 20 days without listening to iPod music – singing shanty songs instead.
Known as BROAR, on account of combining ‘brother’ with ‘oar’, Ewan, Jamie, and Lachlan are now the first three brothers known to row across any ocean ever.
They are now also the youngest trio to row the Atlantic.
Eldest brother Ewan, a design engineer for Dyson in Bristol, described the incredible feat as ‘the defining experience of my life’.
He added: ‘They [Jamie and Lachlan] had to twist my arm but I will be forever grateful to my brothers for convincing me to do this.
‘It was incredibly difficult but the way we came together, the way our bodies and minds coped with every single challenge, will stay with me for a long time.
‘It definitely tested our relationship, but it was remarkable how we were able to lift each other up as we struggled. It’s brought us closer together, although I am looking forward to getting to see and talk to some different people.
The MacLeans rowed their 28ft, £50,000 lightweight R45 Rannoch rowing boat 3,000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Harbour in Antigua in the Caribbean
Jamie (above) in charge of planning, looked after their health throughout their adventure, bringing a penny-whistle to keep up morale and bagpipes to ‘land in style’ in Antigua
Ewan (left), Lachlan (middle), and Jamie (right) chose to complete the challenge to raise £250,000 for charities Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar
‘We don’t do things by halves, so we were always going to go for a world record.
‘I’m incredibly proud of that, but mostly, I’m proud of the money we’ve raised for charity and the difference we’ll make to two causes very close to our hearts.’
During the row, Ewan was responsible for the technical elements, making sure their boat could perform in the harsh conditions of the Atlantic.
The MacLean brothers, all enthusiastic musicians, are pictured here, relaxing before their epic journey from December 12 to January 16. Left to right: Jamie, Lachlan, and Ewan
Jamie, a rugby enthusiast who was put in charge of planning on their adventure, looked their physical health and diet.
As a music buff and talented bagpiper, he took with him a penny-whistle to boost morale, and bagpipes so he could ‘land in style’ in Antigua.
And youngest sibling Lachlan, who packed a harmonica to complete the family band, helped to spread their message of hope and inspiration.
They are sons to father Charlie MacLean, a well-known writer of Scotch whisky, and mother Sheila MacLean, a Scottish landscape artist.
Ewan, Jamie, and Lachlan chose to risk this epic journey, and in so doing set a world record, to raise £250,000 for charities Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar.
Mary Glasgow, chief executive of Children 1st, said: ‘A massive congratulations to Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan for this incredible feat. We are so delighted that they decided to support Children 1st while taking on this challenge. The BROAR brothers’ amazing achievement means that we will be able to help more families with early support and advice at the touch of a button through Children 1st’s Parentline.’
Jamie Spencer OBE, managing director of Feedback Madagascar, said: ‘Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan are an amazing team, it seems like there’s nothing they can’t do.
‘Their strength and determination has helped them beat this record at the same time as saving and transforming lives with every stroke.
‘Every £5,000 raised pays for a freshwater borehole for a village in Madagascar – that’s freshwater for 3,000 people so far, and rising.’
At their lowest, the MacLeans battled dehydration and extreme fatigue in 40-degree heat, burning 12,000 calories a day and losing around 20% of their body weight
Lachlan (left), Ewan (middle), and Jamie (right) are here photographed trying out their boat on Loch Lomond for the first time before embarking upon the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge: ‘the world’s toughest row’
Known as the ‘world’s toughest row’, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is one of the most demanding endurance events on the planet.
The courageous souls who dare brave the challenge are put to their physical and mental limits, as they complete 1.5million stokes in blistering temperatures across shark-infested waters and busy shipping lanes.
According to the MacLeans, more people have been into space or climbed Mount Everest than have rowed across the Atlantic.
The original Atlantic race was founded in 1997 by Sir Chay Blyth, the Scottish yachtsman and rower who famously became the first person to sail single-handed non-stop westwards around the world in 1971.
Since 2015, the race has been held annually starting each December.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, taken over by Spanish company Atlantic Campaigns SL in 2012, is supported by a team that brings with it the experience of seven ocean rows, seven Guinness World Records, and a combined total of over 50 years ocean rowing experience.