Robin sets out onoar-some ocean rowing challenge

Local man Robin Drysdale is celebrating his recovery from bowel cancer by rowing the Atlantic Ocean.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 7:25 am
Robin Drysdale

He is part of team Men of Oar which is competing in The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Having left La Gomera in the Canary Islands last week, Robin and his four crew-mates are rowing 3,000 nautical miles – completely self-supported – to Antigua.

Team Men of Oar at the start of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2018.

“I can’t believe it,” said Robin, as he set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

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“The last couple of weeks have been utterly frantic with preparations. We’re looking forward to getting into a routine at sea and our first swim out of sight of land!”

The journey is expected to take around six weeks.

Robin grew up in Ayton and attended school in Berwick before heading to university where he picked up his love of rowing and the open water.

His thirst for adventure developed through his career in the Army. He qualified as a rowing coach and a motor launch driver and recently enjoyed two weeks sailing on the Baltic Sea.

It is all a far cry from the dark days of 2016 when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, somewhat of a shock for an active 33-year-old.

Robin was lucky, being diagnosed at stage 2, the cancer had not spread and was treatable through surgery and chemotherapy.

“The decision to row the Atlantic Ocean came from a desire to undertake an adventure to celebrate surviving cancer and to do something to help people who have the disease in the future,” said Robin.

Robin quickly found his friends and family to be supportive and, with his crew-mates, set out on the task of raising £250,000 for charities.

In recognition of their army background, the team are also raising money for Combat Stress.

Keep up to date on their progress at