Wednesday 13 December 2017

Atlantic adventurers shatter 114-year record

Ailish O'Hora

ROWER Ray Carroll was celebrating his team's smashing of a 114-year-old record for crossing the Atlantic last night -- with a pint of Guinness.

It took the four-man team 43 days to row from New York to the Scilly Isles in the UK in their 23-foot boat, beating the previous record by 11 days.

The 33-year-old Galway man said he was ecstatic after their performance.

"It's just fantastic. It is the stuff of dreams," he told the Irish Independent. "When we were arriving in, 150 boats came to greet us."

But he admitted there were some tough times, especially when he fell overboard during a storm.

"It was about a week into the row and we hit very rough waters. I was tethered to the boat. Luckily the lads got me out," he said.

There have been 30 attempts at the record, which have resulted in eight deaths.

The team also included Don Lennox (41) from Glasgow, Livar Nysted (39) from the Faroe Islands and skipper Leven Brown (37) from Edinburgh. The crew left New York on 17 June and arrived in the Isles of Scilly yesterday afternoon.

The previous record of 55 days and 13 hours was set in 1896 by two Norwegian fishermen, George Harbo and Frank Samuelson.

A rower since he was 11, Mr Carroll said he had always been "mucking about" in the water in Salthill, where he grew up.

He made a career of his love of water and trained as a marine engineer in Cork, graduating in 1998.

He also spent time in the Merchant Navy and is now a chief engineer at Irish Ferries.

Irish Independent

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