A third Irish boat has completed this season’s Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. Solo oarsman Jamie Carr, who is a coach with Manchester City football club, made it three out of three when he rowed into English Harbour in Antigua today.
The Howth man in good form as he was embraced by friends and family. He joked that he felt “worse than after 20 pints”.
He left La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12th and took 53 days, one hour and 12 minutes to row the 5,000 kilometres across the Atlantic. Competing as Nothing Ventured, he finished 30th overall and second in the solo class.
A five and the four rowing as Row Hard or Go Home were the first two Irish boats home. The five set a new record time for a five of 33 days 12 hours 38 minutes and 30 seconds, while the four completed the crossing in 35 days, 23 hours and 41 minutes.
“There is nothing on this earth (which) compares to what I have just gone through in the last 53 days. It’s been an absolute roller coaster,” Carr said.
He said it was a “sweet moment” to finish and to be greeted by those who had flown in to welcome him.
A pod of dolphins swam by his boat on Christmas day. He was also able to watch sharks, marlins, tuna and even a whale. “I had a zoo follow me for about three days!”
He dealt with severe loneliness at sea. “I’m never ever doing a solo venture again. I thought I would be okay, because I like my own company – I like sitting on the couch for hours on my own, but that’s a different ball game altogether. I can’t describe the degrees of emotion you go through when you are out there on your own.”
He apologised to his family and his girlfriend, Rachel, for the amount he “moaned and vented” online and thanked the support team.
He raised money for two charities: CFFC (Cancer Fund for Children) and a Manchester City fund, City Thrive.
Asked had he any advice to anyone suffering from loneliness, he cited his experience of how low he felt in bad weather, only to see it change for the better. “Just hang in there. Nothing lasts forever.”
Pic: Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge on YouTube