Four Devon brothers complete world's toughest rowing challenge across Atlantic raising thousands

The four brothers from Devon raised nearly £100,000 for homelessness and youth charities

Four brothers from Devon have crossed the finish line of the world's toughest row, raising nearly £100,000 for homelessness and youth charities.

Sailing into Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua in the early hour of Saturday (14 January) morning, it took the Tiverton crew 32 days to complete the 3,000-mile row.

The two sets of twins, 26-year-olds Jack and Hamish Friend and 24-year-olds Arthur and Euan, set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands in December.

Finishing the mammoth challenge in third place, they rowed unsupported across the ocean as part of the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, going on to raise around £94,000 for homelessness and youth charities along the way.

Speaking to ITV News the four described their incredible journey across the great expanse of the Atlantic ocean.

Jack, a financial consultant, said: "It's been a really surreal couple of days - seeing family and friends that we hadn't seen in such a long time and having them come to see us out here, has been incredible.

"Getting a bit of sleep in a proper bed that wasn't soaking wet and sleeping more than an hour has been quite nice. It's the most beautiful place to arrive - we're really lucky to be here."

The brothers arriving in Antigua on Saturday (14 January) morning

For Hamish, it was the breadth of the ocean and sky that made the journey that much more incredible.

He said: "You can literally see every single star up there and you see them shooting across the sky.

"And then you see these amazing sunrises - but because we're rowing backwards we didn't actually see any sunsets!

"We had a lovely full moon around the middle of the journey as well which was just incredible."

Whilst there were many highs during their journey, there were also moments that proved to be tough on the family.

Hamish, who works in property, added: "Christmas Day was probably the toughest because you think of family and friends eating their amazing turkey dinners and you're sat there with your dehydrated meal which tastes bland horrible.

"Being slapped in the face by fish - that was quite memorable - probably just as annoying for them as it was for us - but quite a low moment when we look back."

With the crew making their way over several weeks, the family's journey was also filled with fun, laughter and some rather unusual chats among the brothers.

Arthur, a maths teacher, said: "When you're on the oars at midnight, the last thing you want to do is talk but other times you just find yourself talking about lots of things.

"Hamish, our avid historian, filled me in on all the periods of history and then Euan is a big physicist and so we were getting all these lessons on the ocean - which was actually really nice.

"One of the highlights of the trip was just being able to spend such good quality time with my brothers and really just connect with them.

"New Year's Eve we had this moment to reflect on the build-up and on the year and being able to look back on what we've achieved - before the madness of arriving, was just really special."

Whilst Arthur made sure to keep his brothers entertained by teaching them how to calculate fractions, leading Hamish to believe that he could now comfortably pass his GCSE in Maths.

For Euan, a Physics teacher at the same school as Arthur, the challenge has meant being reunited with his brothers.

He said: "Training for this we've seen a lot of each other - it's brought us back home.

"Before this, we didn't see much of each other after we all left home. Lockdown actually brought us all back together and we realised we wanted to do this challenge."

Speaking about taking on more challenges in the future, Euan said: "One ocean is enough so we might hang up our rowing gear.

"But maybe Iron Man? Or maybe complete a mega-triathlon where we swim across the channel, cycle to China and then run across the Great Wall of China - but I think that might take some convincing."

The brothers are now getting ready to switch their shorts and sunglasses to jumpers and coats as they prepare to return to the UK.

For Hamish, some toast with marmite will be at the front of his mind as they journey back whilst for Jack, Euan and Arthur, a pint of Guinness and a Sunday roast will do.

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