More people have been into space or climbed Mount Everest than have rowed across the Atlantic. But three Scots brothers began a yesterday mission to join this select group.
The MacLean brothers will spend the next 40-60 days rowing two hours on, one hour off, across shark-infested waters and shipping lanes. During their voyage, the Edinburgh-raised trio will face blisters, exhaustion, dehydration, 40-degree heat, salt sores, storms and hallucinations caused by a combination of sleep deprivation and low sugar levels
In a bid to become the fastest trio to ever row the Atlantic, the brothers will take more than 1.5 million strokes and consume up to 12,000 calories a day.
Known as the “world’s toughest row”, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is one of the most demanding endurance events on the planet. Just 35 crews from across the globe will compete in the event, which will see competitors race more than 3,000 miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, in Antigua and Barbuda.
Ewan MacLean, a 27-year-old design engineer based in Bristol, has taken a three-month sabbatical from Dyson to take part in the row, while Glasgow School of Art architecture student Jamie, 26, and University of Glasgow student Lachlan, 21, will complete their studies upon their return. The MacLeans, the first three brothers to row any ocean together, will spend Christmas and New Year on the boat, armed only with their instruments, a mouth organ, ukulele and bagpipes for entertainment.
The brothers took on the challenge to raise money for two children’s charities – Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar.
Youngest brother Lachlan said: “We realised if we didn’t do this now, we would never do it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wouldn’t be able to do it without my two big brothers alongside me.
“We’ll go to some dark places, but we’ll learn so much about ourselves and each other. We’re two students and an engineer whose rowing experience prior to signing up for this was in the gym. But I’ve always believed everyone is capable of amazing things and no matter how painful it is, it will be amazing to look back on when we’re old and grey.”