Charlie rowing the last few hundred metres of his 2010 Atlantic Row

Charlie rowing the last few hundred metres of his 2010 Atlantic Row

Atlantic Row ‘10

In 2010, Charlie won the Woodvale Challenge (now the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge) by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in just 54 days, beating both the race and UK solo records.

As a master boat designer and builder, Charlie was determined to use a new concept in ocean rowing boats. He was unsure before the event as to whether it would be successful but his experience and expertise paid off and he finished the race an estimated 400 miles ahead of his nearest rival.

The Trans-Atlantic rowing race runs from the Canary Islands to Antigua and has gained global coverage and popularity over the last few years. After rowing his innovative boat, JJ, for 48 hours straight from the starting line and averaging 60 miles each day against the rest of the fleet's 30 miles, Charlie built a huge lead by the halfway point.

At that stage it looked like the transatlantic record of 42 days was also on course to be broken. However, bad weather slowed his progress and for 10 agonising days, Charlie and JJ actually went backwards!

Charlie’s body also suffered. He endured lower back pain and sore tendons in his fingers and lowers arms from the incessant rowing. Despite the world record slipping out of sight due to the conditions, Charlie kept up an extraordinary pace and came over the finishing line in Antigua in first place.

"To break the solo record has been great and I hope that it opens up opportunities for ocean rowing in the future." Charlie Pitcher