#ROWING – Ocean rower Aodhan Kelly is travelling the opposite direction to the one he expected this morning – but he is reported to be safe and well after a tumultous 24 hours. The Dubliner and the five other men in the crew of the Sara G were hoping to set a new record for rowing across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados, but they capsized at 11 am yesterday 520 miles from their destination.
The six men stayed in a life-raft t until rescued by the cargo ship the Nord Taipei. The 32,000 tonne craft is continuing on to Gibraltar and is due to arrive on February 9th.
The Sara–G at the start of her now ill-fated journey
The Sara G crew, headed up by the experienced skipper Matt Craughwell, were initally hoping to break what they called the “four-minute mile” of ocean rowing by crossing the Atlantic in under 30 days. But winds and sea conditions were much tougher than expected. They had battled on bravely, with the aim of setting a new record but it all went awry on the 27th day of the row.
The present World Record is held by the 2011 crew of the Sara G - including Craughwell and Irishmen Rob Byrne and Adam Burke – who travelled from Morrocco to Barbados in 33 days 21 hours and 46 minutes in 2011. The Hallin Marine had the shortest crossing, travelling from Tenerife to Barbados in 2011 in 31 days 23 hours and 31 minutes in 2011, but because the distance is shorter the Sara G was deemed the World Record holder by the Ocean Rowing Society.
Kelly, a 26 year old from Palmerstown in Dublin, learned his rowing with Neptune rowing club in Islandbridge for whom he won eight national titles, seven junior and one intermediate. In recent years he has been living and working in Reading in England.