Four Devonshire Brothers To Row the Atlantic for Charity
Four Devonshire brothers who are preparing to row the Atlantic for charity got their campaign off to a flying start at the Exeter Quayside in August.
The Friend brothers, made up of two sets of twins born 18 months apart, rowed up the Exeter Ship Canal before mooring up alongside the Piazza Terracina. They were cheered in by friends, family and a crowd of curious bystanders, keen to see at close-quarters the 28-foot boat that will carry them 3,000 miles unassisted across the Atlantic.
Among those waiting to greet them was their grandmother, ‘Eppy’, in whose honour the boat was about to be named. She spoke of her pride in her adventurous grandsons and then christened the boat in time honoured fashion by breaking a specially made biodegradable bottle of bubbly on the side of the boat.
The young brothers – Euan, Jack, Hamish and Arthur – will be hoping to raise more than £150,000 for three charities by competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December 2022, setting off from the Canary Islands and finishing in Antigua after a voyage of discovery they hope to complete within 30 to 40 days. They will set a world first by becoming the first four brothers to row any ocean.
Between now and then, these sons of Tiverton will be training hard for the mental and physical challenges that lie ahead. They are preparing for Atlantic storms, 40-foot waves, exhaustion, hallucinations and shark infested waters. Hamish takes the blame for coming up with the idea during lockdown – “It’s all my fault” – and may find himself answering to Arthur who says, with a wry smile, “I’ve never been a massive fan of the water.”
Working alongside them will be renowned ocean rowing coach Duncan Roy – a triple Guinness world record holder – who will show them how to row more efficiently, live on the boat and stay safe at sea. The lads will also be trained up by Gus Barton, a fitness coach who will be taking charge of shaping everyone into top notch condition.
From their base in Exmouth, the brothers are about to become a familiar sight just off the south Devon coastline. Described by their mother, Judy, as a basketful of puppies when they were growing up – “They were always scrapping and competing with each other” – the twins are now pulling together in every sense.
Cousins of George Friend, the former Exeter City footballer, the brothers have been brought up to aim high and never to shirk a challenge. One of them, Euan, plays rugby for Oxford University and played a key role in his side’s victory over Cambridge in the Varsity match in July, when he was described as a “ball carrying powerhouse”.
On their website, the brothers give an insight into their motivation, writing:
“Growing up together in the green hills of Devon, adventure has come naturally, as has the competitive need to push each other further, faster and higher. Now older and following different career and personal paths, this challenge is our opportunity to restrengthen the bonds of brotherhood and raise money and awareness for causes close to our hearts.”
Three charities are to benefit from the brothers’ Herculean efforts. They are:
CHAT – a vital service for those struggling with housing issues in Mid Devon.
Drive Forward Foundation – a UK registered charity which enables children and young people with experience of foster or residential care to achieve their full potential.
Friends of Kiwoko Hospital – a charity set up to support the work of the Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda.
The fundraising will begin in earnest in the new year. First, though, the brothers are looking to bring on board some corporate sponsorship to help towards the cost of the boat (which will be sold on for charity) and associated costs. For more information, the brothers can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 0333 344 0950. Their website is: www.thefriendshipatlantic.com