Race History


The World's toughest row

"When I commit to an intensely difficult challenge, I envisage myself having completed it.  This means giving up is not on my agenda; my stubbornness gets me to my end goal." Jack Hopkin

The Atlantic was first rowed in 1896 by two Norwegian  immigrants, Frank Samuelson and George Harbo. They set off from New York City in June and arrived in The Scilly Isles 55 days later.  Incredibly, this record stood unbeaten for 114 years!

In 1966, Sir Chay Blyth and John Ridgway crossed from Cape Cod to Ireland in 92 days. 

Eleven years later, in 1997, Sir Chay Blyth organised the first Atlantic race and it was run every two years until 2015 when it became an annual event.  

Atlantic Campaigns, headed by Carsten Heron Olsen, has organised the The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge since 2013 and the 3,000 mile race crosses from the Canaries (La Gomera) to the West Indies (Antigua).

The 2017/18 race was one of the fastest years on record.  Multiple records were broken including The Four Oarsmen for the fastest ever team (29 days); Mark Slats for the fastest ever solo rower (30 days) and Kung Fu Cha Cha for the fastest ever all female team (34 days).  Most heartwarming, is that £6 million has been raised globally for charities over the past four years. 

Be a part of this race history.