A Sussex rower has completed an incredible 3,000 mile solo-voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, raising thousands for two charities.
Daryl Farmer, from Forest Row, arrived at English Harbour in Antigua on Monday (March 20) after 96 days and 13 hours at sea. More people have been into space and successfully climbed Everest than rowed across the Atlantic.
The rower had set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on the December 14 2016 as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, raising funds for both the Peter Andre Fund and East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service (WRAS).
After he was met by his partner Sabine and step-daughter Ellie, Daryl spoke to supporters and press on the dock. He said: “It was real mixed emotions coming in, because you get to the point where you don’t want it to end. But now I’m here and I see everyone again and it’s unbelievable.”
With no engine and no sails Daryl had to row every inch of the journey and it is estimated that he rowed more than 1.5 million oar strokes.
During his incredible journey Daryl faced a range of challenges. He was washed overboard, capsized, forced to dodge enormous tankers and make on-the-go repairs to his vessel – a Pure Class traditional style ocean rowing boat dubbed the Bojangles.
He even rowed for weeks without a rudder after it broke – posing a range of challenge while rowing for more than 18 hours each and every day.
Daryl said:“The obvious one is steering but the biggest thing I found was that it was just so uncomfortable without the stability the rudder gives you.
“Even on calm days you would be rocking and rolling. For 1,200 miles the motion of the boat has been just so incredibly uncomfortable. That was probably the biggest hardship to be honest.”
Speaking just before Daryl completed his journey, WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said: ““For the past three months we have all been dot-watching online keeping a close eye on Daryl and his progress.
“For someone to choose to do something so amazing for our small and humble little charity is absolutely amazing.
“Daryl is one of our volunteer rescuers and we are really looking forward to having him back on dry land and helping us with our rescues once he is fully recovered again. What an inspirational man!”