Atlantic rowers closing in on the Caribbean

As the leaders close in on the finish line in Antigua, other transatlantic rowers are content that it's the taking part that counts.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 10:10 am
Men of Oar rowers competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Among them are Team Men of Oar led by local man Robin Drysdale who are at the halfway point of the 3,000-nautical-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Robin, who grew up in Ayton and went to school in Berwick, reported: “A month into the expedition, we find ourselves dreaming more and more about being in Antigua as the unrelenting rhythm of life on board is beginning to challenge our mental as well as physical resilience.

“The first few weeks of this challenge were broken up nicely into milestones that kept us looking forward to something. First there was losing sight of land, then first swim, then Christmas, followed by New Year.

“Half way marks the point at which we know exactly what it has taken to get here, and exactly what we need to do to finish it. We know it’s achievable.”

Over the last few weeks the team have had some amazing experiences and overcome some serious challenges, not least having to manage the issue of a power shortage which they were reliant on for navigation, steering and water making.

Robin added: “The hands and bums have held out well so far, a few small blisters, pressure sores and a bit of nappy rash due to the time spent in wet shorts is the extent of our ailments!

“Who knows what impact the next 3-4 weeks will have? Hopefully it will be enough time to claw a few places further up the leaderboard and shed the last few pounds before we hit the beach!”

Robin picked up his love of rowing at university and his thirst for adventure developed in the Army.

It is all a far cry from 2016 when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and treated through surgery and chemotherapy. It inspired him to raise £250,000 for Bowel Cancer UK and Combat Stress.

Keep up to date on their progress at