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Displaying items by tag: Damian Browne

Former professional rugby player and Galway adventurer Damian Browne and his lifelong friend and fellow rugby player Fergus Farrell are attempting to set a new Guinness world record in an unsupported row across the Atlantic in two years’ time.

It won’t be a currach, but it will be in a craft which they have to steer themselves. Browne has done this before, having rowed solo across the Atlantic and has also climbed five of the world’s seven highest summits. Farrell has had his own tough taste of endurance, having learned to walk again - and then walking across the country - after a serious workplace accident two years ago.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, the two men rowed a currach from the Aran island of Inis Oírr to Galway city in September to highlight their bid to cross the Atlantic in 2022.

Lorna Siggins spoke to them both for Wavelengths, the podcast of news and views from the Irish coast for Afloat below.

 

Published in Galway Harbour

#Rowing: Ocean rower Damian Browne and junior rowers Alex Byrne and Caoimhe O’Sullivan were amongst the record breakers at the Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships in the University of Limerick on Saturday.

 Shandon rower Byrne hit six minutes and five seconds for the 2,000 metres category, while O’Sullivan of Muckross covered 1,000 metres in three minutes 44.6 seconds.

 Browne, a former professional rugby player who completed his row across the Atlantic earlier this year, took and beat the old record for 500 metres. He set a new time of one minute 16 seconds.   

Records set at the Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships, University of Limerick, Saturday:

 Men – Open 500m: Damian Browne 1 min 16 sec. Lightweight, Open 500m: Aidan Greene, Kincasslagh RC 1:28.7. Jun 18, 2,000m: Alex Byrne, Shandon RC 1:28.7.

 Women – Lightweight Open 500m: Niamh Doogan, Kincasslagh RC 1:45.1. Jun 16 1,000m: Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Muckross.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Damian Browne has completed the Atlantic Challenge Rowing race. The big Galway man, a former professional rugby player, took 63 days to row from the Canary Islands to Antigua. He suffered through storms and capsizes and posted Facebook videos which showed the injuries he suffered. Rowing as Gulliver’s Travels, he was the final boat of the race to finish. He was greeted by a big group of green-clad Irish fans on land.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Home to Portrush and Relentless, from Cork and Dublin, look set to finish the Atlantic Challenge race in under a week. The Northern Irish crew has taken a clear fifth place and are putting in good mileage each day – they covered 88 nautical miles (163 kilometres) moving into the 27th day of the race from the Canary Islands to Antigua. The crew of George McAlpin, Ally Cooper, Gareth Barton and Luke Baker had 459 nautical miles (850 km) to the finish.

 One place behind them lie another four, Relentless. The Cork/Dublin crew have also benefitted from the favourable winds. If they continue their fine progress they will land in English Harbour in Antigua just one day after Home to Portrush, on January 15th.

 Solo oarsman Damian Browne has crossed the 1,000 nautical mile mark and has been punching in very steady times after coming through capsizes, an injured face and a damaged steering system. The Galway man, who rows as Gullivers Travels, is projected to finish on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Damian Browne is back on track in the Atlantic Challenge rowing race. The solo oarsman covered 36 nautical miles (67 km) in the 24 hours to midday on Saturday and heads into the third week of the race from the Canaries to Antigua with a good chance of bettering his 20th place by overtaking some of the pairs. Browne, who competes as Gullivers Travels, was hurt during a set of capsizes just after Christmas but vowed to race on.

 Near the head of the 21 boats which are still in the race, Relentless, from Cork and Dublin, and Home to Portrush have swapped places. Both are fours. The Northern Ireland crew covered a remarkable 74 nautical miles (137 km) in the day to midday Saturday and took over in fifth from Relentless, which has taken a more southerly route. The leading crew is the Four Oarsmen, with Team Antigua third. Solo oarsman Mark Slats in Row for Cancer holds on to third. Swiss Mocean, which is also taking a southerly course, lies fourth.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Damian Browne twice capsized and suffered facial injuries but has continued to row in the Atlantic Challenge race. The Galway man, who competes as Gullivers Travels, posted a remarkable video on his Facebook page below telling of how he had been woken by his face “getting smashed off the side of the cabin”. He made light of the cut, which bled profusely, and the other injuries. The hours following brought another capsize and sighting of a whale which circled his boat and made eye contact with him. Browne and the two other boats from Ireland in the race, Relentless and Home to Portrush, are two weeks into the race from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Christmas has been productive for the Relentless and Gullivers Travel crews taking part in the Atlantic Challenge rowing race. The four-man Relentless crew covered 84 nautical miles (156 kilometres) in the 24 hours to 4pm on St Stephen’s Day. They had rowed 993 nautical miles, and are set to pass the psychologically important 1,000 nautical-mile staging post today. They stand fourth of the fours and fifth overall.

 Damian Browne, the solo oarsman who rows as Gullivers Travels, posted a Facebook message on Christmas Day. After tricky times early in the race he has locked in a steady race rhythm. He is 17th of the 21 boats at sea in the race from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Two crews, Team O2 and Team Tenzing had to be rescued in recent days after capsizes. The race organisers report that all the rowers are well.

 Home to Portrush, a four, stands seventh overall.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Irish boats are making progress in the Atlantic Rowing Race. Damian Browne, who was tested by difficult conditions and seasickness in the first two days, reported on his Facebook page that he has recovered. By 6pm on Monday he had rowed 154 nautical miles (285 kilometres) of the 2,700 nm/5,000 km journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

 Relentless, the Cork/Dublin four, were making good speed closer to the head of the field. They were adjudged to be sixth overall. Home to Portrush, tracking further south, placed eighth.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Irish crews competing in the Atlantic Challenge race from the Canaries to Antigua have had to battle seasickness and strong winds in the first two days. Relentless, a four, and Gullivers Travels (crewed by Damian Browne) both started well. However, Browne had to deploy the para anchor and was very disappointed with his progress in the first 24 hours when he struggled with blisters, cramps and dehydration. Relentless were reported to have deployed an emergency beacon, though this was apparently done inadvertently.

 The crews were showing steady progress on Saturday, as was the third boat from Ireland, Home to Portrush, which has taken a more southerly course.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Damian Browne set a remarkable time of 1:16.2 for 500 metres at the Provinces Indoor Rowing championships at the University of Limerick on Saturday. The big Galway man, who will row the Atlantic starting in December, finished second in the men’s open category. Colin Burke of Auriel Kensington won this with 1.4 seconds to spare over Browne.  

Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships, Limerick,Saturday 

Men, Open: 1 Colin Burke (Auriel-Kensington, London) 6:12.9, 2 Damian Browne 6:14.3, 3 Ciaran Brady (Offaly) 6:25.7. 500m: Browne 1:16.2 

Junior 18 2000: Mark Ryder (Col Iognaid) 6:29.8.Jun 18 500: James McCarthy (CIT) 1:22.3

M J16 2000: Darragh Gallivan (CRCC) 6:52.8. Men, 30-39: John Whooley (Skib) 6:23.2.

M 40-49: Fintan Gilsenan (Castletownbere RC) 6:26.8.

Women, Open: B Larsen (Garda) 7:06.0. Jun 18 : Caoileann Nic Dhonncha (Col Iognaid) 7:34.1 Jun 16: Roisin O’Connor (Castleconnell BC) 7:34.7.  

W 40-49: Fiona McKeown (Castleconnell BC) 7:23.0

Pararowing

MLTA: Kevin Wall (Clonmel) 6:51.9.

WLTA: Sarah McLoughlin (Univ of Limerick) 8:07.

Published in Rowing

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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