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Documentary on Rowers Damian Browne and Fergus Farrell To Air on RTÉ

30th November 2023

A documentary on the epic transatlantic row by Galway oarsman Damian Browne and his rugby partner Fergus Farrell is due to broadcast on RTÉ next week.

Man Vs Ocean, which is described as “an emotional and reflective adventure documentary”, will air on Wednesday, December 6th, at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.

Browne is the first man to row from New York to Galway, and one of only a handful of people to have rowed solo across the Atlantic in both directions.

Browne rowed east-west solo from San Sebastian to Antigua in 2018, but said the west-east crossing which he finished after 112 days at sea last year, was far harder as he encountered headwinds and currents for much of the route.

It was to have been completed with his close friend Fergus Farrell after the pair left New York in mid-June 2022 for Galway.

The two men from Renmore and Athenry, Co Galway respectively, have been friends and rugby players with Connacht and Galwegians Rugby Football Club since they were young.

However, Farrell had to be evacuated at sea after 13 days, when his oxygen levels dropped to 86 per cent and he was at risk of blood clots. At the homecoming, Farrell said he was “thrilled for Damo” and delighted to know he was safe.

Entitled Project Empower, the row has raised funds for four charities: National Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Ability West, Madra and Galway Simon Community.

Browne has completed the six day, 257km-long Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert - also known as “The Toughest Footrace on Earth”.

He has also climbed five of the seven summits or highest peaks on each continent, and had planned to attempt Everest two years ago, but both he and his Sherpa got Covid.

He had said he finds the “primal moments” of extreme challenge to be very rewarding.

“You learn to appreciate the small things we take for granted,”he said on his arrival into Galway docks after five capsizes in October 2022, admitting how much he missed family and friends and saying it would be “a long time” before he got back into an ocean rowing boat again.

Man vs Ocean, 112 Days | Weds 9.35 pm | RTÉ One & RTÉ Player Team

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