Bexhill rowers end their 2014 epic adventure

dan renner at the end of the atlantic challenge 2014 before the finish line at barbados
dan renner at the end of the atlantic challenge 2014 before the finish line at barbados

Bexhill rowers Phil McCorry and Dan Renner made it to the end of their epic journey on Monday evening.

After weeks of gruelling effort having left the Canary Islands on November 10 they touched down in Barbados at 10.25pm our time to complete their adventure.

They rowed a total of 3,285.69 miles across the Atlantic Ocean completely unaided in 49 days, 9 hours and four minutes.

During their voyage on Nov 28 the Bexhill College Endeavour recorded an “incredible” average speed of 3.24 knots and covered an amazing distance of 86.81 miles.

Team spokesman Geoff Dixon reports: “Although the severe adverse weather at the start that resulted in the boys being diverted further south than planned and adding an extra 300 miles to their distance scuppered the world record attempt, they still managed to complete the row in less than the magical 50 days.

Since the first east-west crossing there have been 164 two-person attempts, with only 16 of them completing the distance in less than 50 days, and Phil and Dan’s row now in the top ten recorded fastest times.”

Phil’s immediate reaction was: “It’s great to finish and we’ll have a couple of days rest before flying home on Sunday.

We hit strong southerly winds at the end that made it very difficult to make the original destination of Port St Charles, so we tracked south to arrive in Bridgetown. We’d like to thank everyone for their tremendous support and are looking forward to getting home.”

Phil was the experienced ocean rower in the boat having been part of the celebrated Row4Charity four man crew which battled across the Indian Ocean in 2009. They broke records in the process and came back to Bexhill to be given its highest civil honour - freedom of the town - and a massive reception.

On entering the port of Bridgetown Phil and Dan, in one of the world’s smallest ocean vessels rowed along side the Queen Mary ll liner, one of the worlds largest ships, an experience Dan described as “awesome.”

Bexhill Rowing Club President Gerald Matthews commented: “Congratulations to Phil and Dan, now landed in Barbados, and no doubt enjoying a well earned cold beer followed by an equally well earned long sleep. I will be delighted, and proud, to shake their hand on their return to Bexhill, and await with much interest to hear of the story they will have to tell. Well done boys, job done.”

To date the pair’s efforts have raised over £7,000 pounds for St Mary’s special needs school and fundraising manager Emma Bourne said: “They have provided an incredible example for our young people on what can be achieved. ” To make a donation visit www.atlanticchallenge14.org

The event team would like to thank the local sponsors who supported the challenge as well as all the residents who made their donations to have names placed on the boat. They also thank Andy Bristow, their routing and weather forecaster, for his accurate predictions “as well as keeping the boys safe at the start.”