Charity partners will benefit from world rowing record attempt

There have been 52 previous attempted crossings by way of unsupported row

Well known adventurer and former Connacht rugby player Damian Brown is gearing up for new project with lifelong Fergus Farrell to row unsupported from New York to Galway.

The pair will be attempting this world record, while also helping their charity partners who will benefit from their world record attempt.

The two oarsmen will work with the National Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Ability West, Madra and The Galway Simon Community as they set out on a challenge of a lifetime.

All four charities will band together to promote the Project Empower’s fundraising effort by asking people to sponsor each of the 5000kms of the New York to Galway Bay Row.

Those wishing to support the event and their charity partners can do so by visiting:

Speaking at the launch, Fergus Farrell said: “Both myself and Damian are honoured to work alongside four amazing charitable organisations to allow us to use our mammoth challenge to help raise awareness and funds for these worthy causes. As daunting as the task at hand is, we genuinely can’t wait to get started and we hope our efforts will benefit all our partners.”

In the history of the world this has only been attempted on 11 previous occasions. In the process the former Connacht and Leinster forward Damian will become one of only a few individuals to have rowed the Atlantic both ways, having crossed from San Sebastian to Antigua in 2018.

It is a huge ambition for Fergus Farrell who in 2018 was given a five per cent chance of walking again following a workplace accident which left him paralysed from below the waist. Extraordinarily, one year later he walked 206km across Ireland for charity.

This world rowing record has been in situ for more than120 years. There have been 52 previous attempted crossings by way of unsupported row. Only 11 of these attempts were by pairs and only six of those pairs managed to complete the row. In total only 18 of the previous attempts managed to complete the crossing. In addition to the six completed attempts by pairs, there have also been successful crossings by 6 solos, 5 fours and 1 five.

The pairs world record is held by Norwegians George Harboe and Frank (Gabriel ) Samuelsen who were the first pair to attempt the row. They crossed from New York to the Scilly Isles in 1896 in a time of 55 days and 13 hours. Incredibly after a short break in the Scilly Isles they continued their row for another five days at sea to Le Harve in France.

The two rowers say they hope this world record attempt will make waves that will crash records and be felt in every corner of the globe.


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