Scot becomes youngest person to row 3,000 miles across Pacific

Michael Prendergast (centre) and his Uniting Nations team celebrating after arriving in Hawaii, as the 23-year-old Scot has become the youngest person to row the Pacific Ocean. Picture: Ellen Hoke/Great Pacific Race/PA Wire.
Michael Prendergast (centre) and his Uniting Nations team celebrating after arriving in Hawaii, as the 23-year-old Scot has become the youngest person to row the Pacific Ocean. Picture: Ellen Hoke/Great Pacific Race/PA Wire.
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A 23-year-old Scot has become the youngest person to row the Pacific Ocean.

Michael Prendergast took 49 days, 23 hours and 15 minutes to row from California to Honolulu with his three American team-mates Robert Behny, Evan Buckland and Jordan Godoy.

During the gruelling 3,000-mile journey, the crew kept to a pattern of two hours rowing and two hours rest.

They all suffered hallucinations, with Mr Prendergast at one point believing he was in a pub and about to be served fish and chips.

The Uniting Nations team were the first to cross the finish line of the Great Pacific Race in their 7x1.8-metre boat Isabel.

The crew reached Hawaii at 2.15pm local time on July 27 and were piped into the marina by a lone piper.

Mr Prendergast, who lives near Spynie Castle in Moray, said: “Mentally, it was the toughest challenge I could ever do.

“The two hours on, two hours off pattern was relentless. There was never a chance to relax and if I was lying down for more than an hour-and-a-half, I was having a lie-in.

“I knew that we all have good days and bad days and that it was all temporary, even though the nights at sea were the longest, hardest, wettest, coldest nights you could imagine.”

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He credited his experiences at his old school Gordonstoun, including team sports and expeditions such as learning to sail, for helping him stay the course.

“It was the Gordonstoun motto ‘Plus Est En Vous’, which means ‘there is more in you’ that really kept me going,” he said.

He is raising money for Down’s Syndrome Scotland as his younger brother Andrew has the condition, and is almost £7,000 towards his £40,000 target.

“I am passionate about raising funds for Down’s Syndrome Scotland because of the support they have given my brother, “ he said.

“Andrew is a very happy young man but everyday, simple tasks can be major obstacles for him.”

His JustGiving page can be found here.

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