Two sets of twins have become the first group of four brothers to complete an epic 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean.
The British brothers have raised nearly £100,000 for various UK charities since setting off on their endurance challenge just over a month ago.
Siblings Jack and Hamish Friend, 26, and younger brothers Euan and Arthur Friend, 24, set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12.
Shockingly the team, who dubbed themselves ‘The FriendShip’, came in third place out of 43 teams – despite having never rowed before.
Siblings Jack and Hamish Friend, 26, and younger brothers Euan and Arthur Friend, 24, have raised nearly £100,000 for various UK charities since setting off on December 12
Talisker Atlantic Challenge
Each team will row around 1.5 million oar strokes during a race.
The fastest 24 hours was achieved by Team Fortitude IV who covered 107.45 nautical miles in just one day.
The fastest row across the Atlantic Ocean was a four man team called The Four Oarsmen who finished the 3,000 miles in 29 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes.
The Atlantic Ocean is 5.28 miles deep at its deepest and rowers can experience waves up to 20ft high.
Source: Atlantic Campaigns
The foursome from Tiverton, Devon, finally arrived on the Caribbean island of Antigua at Nelson’s Dockyard late on Saturday.
The four boys completed the gruelling Talisker Atlantic Challenge, in which teams start in San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, and complete the 3,000 mile row to the Caribbean.
The brothers have not just completed the challenge but have also become the first four brothers to row across any of the world’s oceans.
After spending just 50 hours at sea, the team set off on the challenge – described as the ‘world’s toughest row’ after getting training from triple Guinness world record holding rower Duncan Roy.
Hamish, who works in property surveying, said: ‘None of us had rowed that much before.
‘It was one of those challenges that I saw on an Instagram video and thought, ‘Wow, that looks amazing. Let’s give it a try”.’
The brothers had to rotate the rowing, each completing two hours on the oars followed by two hours resting and sleeping – battling swollen hands, cuts and bruises, as well as blistering heat both inside and outside of their cabins.
Alongside rowing, they had to consume around 6,000 calories a day of freeze-dried food to stay fit, and made their own drinking water from a solar-powered desalination unit onboard.
The four-brother team, who dubbed themselves ‘The FriendShip’, came third out of 43 teams – despite having never rowed before
They even spent Christmas and New Year on the boat – and shared one of their dad’s brandy-soaked Christmas puddings.
Their 28ft boat had also previously completed the crossing and was being ‘recycled’ for another challenge – though they accidentally crashed it into a buoy upon arriving in Antigua.
Speaking after completing the voyage, Hamish told BBC Radio Devon: ‘We sort of all agreed that we didn’t particularly like the phrase ‘life changing experience’ – it’s more of a life shaping and life enhancing challenge and moment rather than changing.
‘It’s just been incredible, and you just sort of think of the finish line so much in a challenge like this, so when you actually cross it – it’s just such a weird experience.’
Speaking about the highs and the lows of the experience, Hamish added: ‘I think it was day five, I got slapped in the face by a flying fish.
‘It was pitch black and probably about two in the morning. I was having a chat with one of the other brothers I was rowing with and suddely out of nowhere this fish launches itself out, slaps me in the face and drops off the other side into the water and swims off.
The brothers completed the gruelling Talisker Atlantic Challenge
‘So that was a bit of a weird experience – maybe that wasn’t actually a low.. Then new year was incredible, on new years eve we got given some sloe gin from our parents and had some of that, and toasted the new year out.
‘There were moments like that which were incredible, also the stars and the sunrises, sunsets. So, a massive combination of both highs and lows.
‘I’m very excited to announce we managed to just about hold on to third place, and crossed the line in third.
‘The team behind us were incredibly competitive, and really pushed us to our absolute limit, but we managed to stay just ahead of them – and we finished just about 12 miles ahead.
‘So out of a total of about 3,000 miles that is nothing, so it was a proper race to the end – which is incredible.’
The brothers are completing the challenge in aid of three local charities – and have so far raised a whopping £94,000 for the cause.
The charities are CHAT, a vital service for those struggling with housing issues in Mid Devon; the Drive Forward Foundation, which enables children and young people with experience of foster or residential care to achieve their full potential; and Friends of Kiwoko Hospital, a charity set up to support the work of the Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda.