Charlie at the end of his 2013 world record-breaking Atlantic crossing

Charlie at the end of his 2013 world record-breaking Atlantic crossing

Transatlantic Solo

Having been hindered by bad weather on his first Trans-Atlantic crossing in 2010, Charlie was determined to become the fastest solo rower across the Atlantic Ocean. He knew he could set a new world record, given more favourable weather.

On 6th February 2013, he set off on his second Atlantic crossing from La Gomera in the Canaries, bound for Port St Charles, Barbados, a journey of 3,000-miles (4,800km), in another of his boats, Soma.

During the row, Soma rolled (turned turtle) twice, suffered four knock-downs (or broaches), and one cabin slap (where wave enters cabin because the rower forgets to shut the hatch!). On top of all that, Charlie experienced a body breakdown on day 18 after pushing himself way too hard in the first half of the challenge.

On Wednesday, 13th March he arrived in Port St Charles, fatigued and broken but ecstatic to find his family waiting for him on the dock. Charlie became the world’s fastest solo transatlantic rower with a time of 35 days and 33 minutes, smashing the previous record set in 2012 by 5 days.

So how did he beat this record quite so substantially?

His boat was the most advanced and innovative ocean rowing boat ever built - a Rannoch Solo constructed out of lightweight carbon Nomex and designed by world renowned naval architect Phil Morrison. For this adventure, Charlie was able to select his departure date to wait for optimum conditions before setting off. Sometimes he averaged upwards of 90 miles a day, unheard of for a solo rower.

“I can never sit back, I need a challenge – it’s where you discover your limits. This was the hardest thing I have ever done.” Charlie Pitcher