#Rowing: Gavan Hennigan traversed the finish line in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge tonight and marked himself out as a record breaker. The 35-year-old Galway man took 49 days to complete the row from La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua in the West Indies. He became the fastest Irishman to row across the Atlantic, less than half the time taken by Sean McGowan (118 days) on this route in 2010; he also beat the record set by Irish-born Briton Tom McClean, who rowed across the North Atlantic in 55 days in 1987.
Hennigan (35) won an exciting battle with the three-man American Oarsmen to take third of the 12 boats in the race. The American crew pushed hard over the final week and almost caught the Irishman. Though they covered impressive distances each day, Hennigan matched and even outpaced them.
The crew which won, Latitude 35, set a new world record. It had a four-man crew, as did the second boat to finish, Row for James.
Taking their places behind Hennigan are a four, three trios, two pairs and three solos.
Hennigan is not the fastest man to row solo across the Atlantic, as stated in one media outlet. In 2013, Charlie Pitcher became the fastest solo rower to cross the Atlantic in an open class boat: he crossed from La Gomera to Barbados in 35 days and 33 minutes. The statistics are available on oceanrowing.com.
What a wonderful achievement by Gavan Hennigan. When he said he thought he could complete the race in 50 days, I thought it was hugely ambitious for a first-timer. And then he beat it! Amazing.
You might be able to confirm something for me. Is he now the fastest solo rower over the La Gomera to Antigua course? And do you know where he ranks in the list of solo rowers to cross the Atlantic?
He told me you were a key part of the team he had ‘on land’. Well done to all!
Liam Gorman, Rowing Correspondent, The Irish Times
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