Welcome to the online home of ‘World Ocean Rowing’. The aim of World Ocean Rowing is to provide safe and successful ocean rowing expeditions for the growing number of ocean rowing enthusiasts around the world.
Having run a successful crossing in 2010, we are now awaiting to depart for our next ocean row – an E-W record attempt across the Atlantic Ocean from Tarfaya Morocco to PSC Barbados.
See ” track the rowers” link at the top of the home page to follow our progress
9th February 2011: ARRIVAL PHOTO’S AT PSC – BARBADOS
On 8th February 2011 at 11.16 GMT Ocean rowing boat ‘Sara G’ Skippered by English man Matt Craughwell pulled into Port St. Charles, Barbados and into the record books. Craughwell and his crew of 5 oarsmen, Fiann Paul (Iceland), Tomas Cremona (Malta), Adam Burke (Ireland), Rob Byrne (Ireland) and Dr Graham Carlin (England), set off from the fishing port of Tarfaya, Morocco on the West African coast on the 5th January on a mission to become the fastest crew ever to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
Not only have they achieved this goal by taking 10 hours and 36 minutes off the old record set by Team Hallin, they have also set a new record for rowing more consecutive days over 100 miles than any other boat in history. The old record which was set by the 07/08 ‘La Mondiale’ crew stood at 9 days, Craughwell and his crew managed a superhuman effort to extend this out to an incredible 12 days.
It has not all been plain sailing, or rather rowing, for the international crew on board ‘Sara G’. Life on board an 11m (34’) long 1.8m (6’) wide ocean rowing boat is far from luxurious and with a gruelling routine requiring the men to row for 12 hours each day it has taken it toll on them both mentally and physically.
During the early stages of the 3,170 mile voyage several of the crew experienced sea sickness, this only adds to the fatigue as they can only sleep for a maximum of 2 hours at a time. The constant shift pattern of 2 hours at the oars and 2 hours of rest must be strictly maintained to ensure the boat stays at top speed and on course for a record.
Not only is the body drained from lack of sleep it is also constantly hungry as the men burn incredible amounts of calories, up to 8,000 per day while only consuming an average of 5,000. This deficit results in drastic weight loss and each of the men has lost 20-25% of their body weight in just over a month a sea.
And just when you think this challenge cannot get any tougher things start to go wrong. A broken centre board less than half way across could have seriously jeopardised the record attempt, the centre board is key to the stability of the craft, but thanks to some ingenuity and brut force the crew managed to rig a make shift centre board which thankfully held out for the remainder of the journey.
A broken oar gate could also have ended any hopes at a record and reduced the boat to only 2 rowing positions but thanks to the well prepared and experienced skipper spares were at hand and the problem rectified quickly.
Skipper Craughwell attributes the hard work of his crew and a little help from the weather gods to this record breaking crossing, while Adam Burke attributes the good speed and consistency to having a competent and experienced captain.
The Men will now spend a few days of well earned rest in Barbados before returning home to be united with their friends and families. ‘Sara G’ will be shipped back to the UK in the coming months where she will be readied for another ocean crossing with www.worldoceanrowing.com where she will be looking to break yet another world record in June 2012 rowing the Indian Ocean from Australia to Africa.
7th February 2011: LESS THAN 100 TO GO
Infact at 16.00 GMT the crew of Sara G had only 74 miles to reach port, family and friends are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the crew in Barbados. Everyone back home and in Barbados is very nervous and also excited to see them break the world record, however we are sure the crew on board Sara G are very calm, relaxed and know just what needs to be done during these last 24 hours. To watch them arrive LIVE please click on the following Port St Charles webcam link http://www.portstcharles.com/webcam_window.php?cam=3
28th January 2011: LESS THAN 1000 MILES
With our 1st row record behind us and with less than 1000 miles to go, we’re all focusing on getting our 2nd. Spirits are high, the boat is in good condition and we’re all looking forward to seeing our friends and family soon!
18th January 2011: WORLD RECORD HOLDERS!!!!
World Ocean Rowing are pleased to announce that the ORS have confirmed us as new WORLD RECORD HOLDERS for 10 consecutive days (and counting) of +100 miles rowed in each 24 hour period.
17th January 2011: RECORD BREAKING PACE
With the halfway point coming up on the horizon and the 100+ mile days coming one after another now the crew are starting to focus on the second half of the trip and the harder part of the journey!
With body’s starting to look different, the reserves and stamina that were built up for the trip are now coming to the fore front, with nearly all the weight reserves gone through in the last 2 weeks the quality of the food and rest we get each day, will now be what powers us towards the record. While the stamina is keeping the boat at record breaking pace it was worth every trip to the gym, ergo (rowing machine) and weight sessions.
Morale is high and so are all our spirits as we start looking forward to counting down miles to go rather than miles completed….
13th January 2011: DREAM LIKE STATE
With days merging into each other now and the routine of life aboard being “normal”. Some of the stranger things are starting to appear. Uncontrollable laughter at the stupidest thing or joke that is rapidly contagious between the guys on the oars at the time. Waking up 30 minutes after you just fell asleep thinking its time for you to row again or starting your shift at the oar in a dream like state in the middle of the night and its hard to tell if you are awake or dreaming.
It has been strange to see each other go through these processes and it is as if just the slightest hint of daylight itself is the off switch for it all. We are all just as tired as the previous shift but somehow the lack of energy and the dream like state just drift away… at least for the next twelve hours !
12th January 2011: PERFECT CONDITIONS
After the last few days the boat has found her natural rhythm for this years crew. All are resting well, eating at the required times and have adjusted very well to what can only be described as perfect rowing conditions, a 15-20knt NE wind with a welcome swell. The boat mileage is a reflection of all the hard work and effort that each crew member is applying in his two hours on the oars.
The seas at times have been large and upwards of four meters. We have had two knock downs over the last three days but nothing to worry about, everything is ship shape and ready to go all of her own accord inside ten seconds.
Hoping the weather stays with us for the rest of the trip and that we continue to make the most of the opportunity we have at the moment!
8th January 2011: BIG WAVES, BIG SMILES, BIG MILES
Just about sums up the boat at the moment.
7th January 2011: TRADE WINDS & FLY BY
Well the trade winds have arrived!! and the crew have adjusted to the different conditions of rowing through waves and swell rather than pulling Sara G through flat water. As you can see our average knots per hour have started to build and will continue to do so as the wind strengthens and the crew master the skills for the conditions.
A bit of a shock suprise at 11.00am…the sound of a low flying aeroplane!! As it came closer my heart started to sink. I asked all the lads to check the EPIRBS that we were carrying as the plane was a search and rescue aircraft. I am glad to say that all the EPIRBS we carry were stowed as they should have been and after a quick chat on the VHF he was on his way giving us a very nice low fly by to see him on his way to his original destination.
7th January 2011: WHALE SIGHTING
Well after sitting at 3.5 knots as an average, the ocean offered the crew its first sight of big wildlife!! a whale at around 10.00am this morning. Now i should have guessed that the sea gives nothing without taking a little in return, so… 30 minutes after the whale had passed, the boat speed had been reduced to a very slow 1 knot due to a 12-18knt south wind that stayed with us for 6 hours.
I am pleased to report that we now have much better conditions and that the crew are working hard as they can to recover the time lost over the 6 hours of south wind. We hope for building trade winds during the next 48 hours but you will know when we have them as the boat speed should improve by some amount.
6th January 2011: HIGH SPIRITS
After getting the news that the trade winds would start to blow from the N.East on Friday, the decision was made by the skipper to head out from Tarfaya and row S.West for 36 hours to get into prime position to take advantage of them when they start.
The crew are all in high spirits as the average knots per hour will be showing. All are ready and fired up to make the most of the coming good weather !!
5th January 2011: ON OUR WAY!
At 13.30 GMT the crew set off from Tarfaya, Morocco on there way to Barbados. Wishing all the crew gods speed and a safe journey in the attempt of breaking the world ocean rowing record set in 2008.
4th January 2011: After arriving in Tarfaya at 2150hrs last night the crew bedded down onboard Sara-G.
At first light some minor adjustments to the packing of the boat were made and a kit shake down was completed.
The crew are now just waiting for good weather and the start of the record attempt, spirits in the crew are high and the bond between us all is that much stronger, everyone is now aware of just what lay ahead.
Things are shaping up nicely for a fast crossing.
31st December 2010: After the arrival of the last crew members on the 29th, we have been busy getting Sara G ready for the attempt on the world record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by an ocean rowing boat.
With systems tested and the crew ready we have been waiting for the right weather window, and after speaking to our weather router yesterday the time has come to set off to Tarfaya the port that we will be starting our record attempt from.
Our expected departure time is around midday today .
28th December 2010: Sara G has now cleared customs, the last crew members arrive on the 29th of December and we await a good weather window for our departure.
22nd December 2010: Sara G has arrived in Agadir and will now start the process of clearing customs for arrival at the marina on the 29th of December.
14th December 2010: World ocean rowing is pleased to confirm that Dr Graham Carlin joins the crew, see “about us/2011 crew” for details.
4th December, 2010: Confirmation: Sara G has started her journey to Morocco. The crew will join her on the 27th-29th December.
5th October, 2010: World Ocean Rowing are delighted to announce that we now have a full 6 man crew confirmed for our E-W Atlantic Row in January 2011. The last two crew members selected for the expedition are Rob Byrne and Adam Langton Burke – both of whom are Irish. Well done on being selected lads. The 6 man crew is of a very high calibre and will be attempting to break the existing 33 day 7 hour record which has stood since January 2008.
24th September, 2010: After a worthwhile sea trial last weekend, and another sea trial this weekend, the crew for the 2011 E-W Atlantic Row is near to being complete. Watch this space…
17th August, 2010: World Ocean Rowing are delighted to announce the addition of two more crew members for the 2011 E-W Atlantic Row – Thomas Cremona of Malta and Joe ‘Mac’ from Ireland. There are now just two places left open on the crew for applicants.
18th May, 2010: The first crew member for the 2011 E-W Atlantic Row is confirmed – Stuart Dodwell. Welcome aboard Stuart.
6th April, 2010: Applicants are now being sought for our 2011 row from Morocco to Barbados. For more info see Atlantic Row 2011.