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Brits And Americans Join Forces To Break Records And Cross The Pond In The World's Toughest Row

NORWALK, Conn., Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- American and British rowers have combined efforts to break the world record for the fastest four-man crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, known as the world's toughest row. 

Americans, Jason Caldwell (34) and Matt Brown (34) and Brits Angus Collins (27) and Alex Simpson (27), Latitude 35, completed the epic 3,000 mile crossing in 35 days 14 hours and 3 minutes, smashing the record by nearly 2 days.  They arrived in English Harbour, Antigua, during the late hours of Wednesday evening, greeted by family and friends. 

Skipper, Jason Caldwell comments: "This row was extremely tough, all the elements seemed against us the entire way, and we couldn't catch a break. The record nearly slipped away from us in the final week but we've given it everything to make sure we got it. We're over the moon to get the record and be here in Antigua."

This is the second time that Jason Caldwell and Angus Collins have competed in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, the world's toughest row.  The rowers were rivals in last year's competition, Angus won the race with team Ocean Reunion and Jason finished in eleventh place.  Last year, after 12 days at sea, Jason's four-man crew (also named Latitude 35) was reduced to two after two team members were taken off the boat due to chronic sea-sickness.  Jason made the brave decision to keep going and he and one other rower managed to row their four-man boat, named American Spirit, to Antigua.  This year, Jason and Angus combined forces to break records and settle their unfinished business with the ocean. 

Latitude 35 burnt around 8,000 calories a day and lost approximately 20% of their body weight over the duration of the race, which started on 14th December 2016, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. They endured tropical storms, sleep deprivation, sweltering heat and the psychological stresses of living and working in such an unpredictable environment.

Blaire Fraser, Global Talisker Brand Manager, comments: "We are delighted for Latitude 35 and their epic, record-breaking win, especially for Angus to smash this record and for Jason to win the race which meant so much to him after last year's events. To us, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a perfect opportunity to support a remarkable adventure that at the same time benefits so many worthy charities. While longer than the row our founders, the MacAskill brothers, undertook from Eigg to Skye to found Talisker Distillery in Scotland almost 200 years ago, we know that the same sense of adventure is inherent in each of these outstanding athletes and are excited to see how the experience shapes their journeys in the future. 

To track the progress of the remaining teams in the race, please visit:

The teams include:


Atlantic Endeavour – Sarah Hornby (30), Kate Hallam (33), Becky Charlton (28), Charlie Best (30) – GB – Four young women who have a passion for adventure and who are striving to conquer a huge challenge. They're aiming to beat the record of 40 days for fastest females to cross the Atlantic, set in 2015 by a women's four, and carry on the success of the female teams from last year. The team is raising money for Mind UK and Women for Women International:

Row for James – Rory Buchanan (28), Harry Wentworth-Stanley (26), Toby Fenwicke-Clennell (27), Sam Greenly (27) – GB - rowing in memory of Harry's brother James, who took his life in 2006, aged just 21 years old. The team set off nearly a decade to the day after James' death, and have raised close to £400k so far for the James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Fund:


American Oarsmen – Mike Matson (31), David Alviar (31), Brian Krauskopf (28) – US – Mike was a fire fighter, Brian a teacher, and David a marketer; they are all set to take on the high seas with the goal of becoming the fastest Americans to cross the ocean, a record that currently stands at 45 days. They are raising money for three charities: Alzheimer Prevention, Teach for America and the Anne Sullivan Foundation:

Facing It -– Stuart Connacher (50), Charl Gale (29), Wayne Johnson (42) – South Africa - Charl was heavily involved in Stuart's 2015 solo endeavour, assisting with the planning, logistics, boat building and eventually celebrating Stuart's achievement at the finish line. This year, the trio has teamed up determined to win the class. They are raising money for The Smile Foundation: 

A-Adventures – Andy Styles – (52), Andrew Cameron (48), Andrew Sacker (46) – GBThree fathers, the three Andys met trekking the Antarctic to the South Pole in 2013. Despite having no previous rowing experience, the team of dads want to inspire their group of nine children and one grandson to be the next generation of ocean rowers. They are raising money for Barnardo's, Bowel Cancer UK, Joliba Trust and the National Autism Society:


Row 32 North – John Schwartz (32), Kurt Schwartz (38) – US - John and Kurt are two brothers who are taking this race on as a challenge for themselves but also as a chance to give back. Natural born adventurers, they've completed many an intrepid climb together, but have taken to the waves for the world's toughest row. Based in New York, they're raising money for The SamFund: 

Fresh Dental Challenge – Justin Marney (49), Azud Irshad (30) – Devon – Justin and Azud are both dentists, trading in their instruments for oars to take part in the world's toughest row. Justin served in the Royal Navy for 7 years, whilst Azud has completed various endurance races, and now they've come together to conquer the ocean. They're raising money for RowCroft Hopsice, who cared for Azud's elderly father:


Gavan Hennigan (35) – IrelandGavan Hennigan is an Irish Extreme Environment Athlete. He has adventured to all 7 continents, from Ultra Running at home in Ireland to Winter Ultras and snowboard mountaineering in the Antarctic. Gavan is raising money for Jigsaw Galway and Cancer Care West:

Elaine Hopley (43) – Scotland – Elaine runs a successful business alongside being a mother. A keen athlete, she has completed solo bicycle tours of Australia, New Zealand and rode Land's End to John O' Groats in just 7 days. She wanted to take part in the race years ago, but had to put it all on hold when her mother became ill. Elaine's row is dedicated to her mother; she is raising money for Alzheimer Scotland in her memory:

Daryl Farmer (43) – GB – Daryl has completed various endurance races, including the Marathon des Sables, and covered around 1000 miles in marathons and ultramarathons. In 2014 he attempted a solo row to Hawaii from California. Unfortunately, he was faced with weather conditions that were impossible to beat. Now, he is determined to complete the world's toughest row, raising money for Cancer Research UK Peter Andre Fun & East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance:

Dmitry Rezvoy – (39) Ukraine (lives in GB) – In 2004 Dmitry's father Pavel Rezvoy crossed the Atlantic Ocean, in 2005 he crossed the Indian Ocean gaining Guinness World Records in doing so. This was foundation for Dmitry's passion for Ocean Rowing. He has been repairing and building ocean rowing boats for over 12 years and feels it's now time for him to continue "The Family Tradition":


TALISKER® whisky is the title sponsor of the world's toughest roughest row The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.  Like the rowers in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge the TALISKER® distillery is battered by the elements: on the windswept coast of the Isle of Skye. 

Each participant in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge represents an inspiring story of passion, confidence, challenge and achievement.  Talisker speaks of the rugged, windblown beauty of its home by the wild seas on the Isle of Skye. Talisker has been adored by many for its sea-salty nose, peaty, smoky character and peppery finish, since 1830. The maritime influence of Talisker has led to close links with challenges on the water, including the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, the world's toughest rowing race.  Talisker 10 year old, Talisker Skye and Talisker Storm are widely distributed while Talisker 18 year old, Talisker Distiller's Edition and Talisker Port Ruighe can be found in specialist stores. See and for more information.

The TALISKER, TALISKER STORM, TALISKER PORT RUIGHE, TALISKER SKYE words and associated logos are trademarks. © DIAGEO 2017


Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan's and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit
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Atlantic Campaigns is the official race organiser and the company behind the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.  Without Atlantic Campaigns the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge would not be possible. Working alongside some of the planet's best ocean rowing advisors, Atlantic Campaigns make dreams a reality and challenges conquerable.  The main goal for Atlantic Campaigns is to make The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge the best organised rowing event in the world.
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