4 men in a boat smash a century-old record

THE SCOTTISH skipper of a rowing team last night described his delight at smashing the 114-year-old record for rowing from the USA to Great Britain.

• Four in a row: Leven Brown and his fellow crew members knocked 11 days off the record for rowing the Atlantic west to east set in 1896 by Harbo and Samuelson (photo credit: OnEdition/AFP/Getty)

Along with Don Lennox from Bellshill in Lanarkshire, Irishman Ray Carroll and Lyvar Nystad of the Faroe Islands, skipper Leven Brown completed an epic 3,400 mile voyage across the North Atlantic in just under 44 days, knocking 11 days off the record set in 1896 by Norwegian fishermen George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen.

After crossing the finishing line at St Mary's Harbour in the Scilly Isles yesterday afternoon, Brown, 37, from Edinburgh, said: "We are so happy to be here. It has been a really tough trip and we have had a huge amount to contend with.

"Every bit of technology that we had seemed to break – in the end it came down to four men and four oars."

Brown, who described yesterday as "one of the most amazing days ever", added: "I'm absolutely over the moon, exhausted, elated, ecstatic to be here in the Scilly Isles.

"It's a great, great day. I'm very proud of the lads and everybody involved in the boat and proud of the boat, she's taken a hammering. I'm just really proud to be a part of it."

Mr Harbo's granddaughter Bette Horton sent a message to the record-breaking crew from her home in Tennessee.

She said: "Congratulations from the Harbo families to Team Artemis for remaking history with your cross-Atlantic row. Your row is a major milestone and we applaud you for beating the record set 114 years ago when our grandfather, George Harbo and his mate, Frank Samuelsen, were the first ever to row the Atlantic in 1896."

It was the longest-standing record in any extreme sport, and the four man crew of the 23-foot long boat named Artemis Investments will now earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The row took 43 days, 21 hours, 26 mins and 48 seconds to complete. The crew survived multiple swampings, a capsize, two of them being swept overboard, winds up to 45 knots and 30 feet high waves.

Killer whales were another danger.