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'Our hands are in bits!'

Wednesday, 17th January, 2018 5:13pm

There was triumph this week for a group of Irish rowers who finished a mammoth charity race across the Atlantic.

Seán Underwood, Eoin O’Farrell, Patrick O’Connor, and Thomas Browne, aka the Relentless Rowers, crossed the finish line in Antigua at 5am local time on Tuesday morning. They were one of six teams to cross the line in a record time after rowing for 32 days, 22 hours and four minutes, beating the previous record of 35 days. They become the first Republic of Ireland crew to row across the Atlantic.

Speaking to the Cork Independent from Antigua, crew member Eoin Farrell said he was delighted to have a proper night’s rest:

“On the water, it’s been two hours on and two hours off, so we’ve never been having more than a couple of hours’ sleep at one time,” he said. “So it’s really nice to wake up after the first proper sleep in 32 days!”

Greeted by flares, flags and horns as well as the support of their families, who flew over to welcome the crew over the line, Eoin said the rowers’ support for each other was what kept them going:

“Our hands are in bits! One night during the second week we capsized which, on a 24 foot boat with two people still inside, was scary. But our compassion for each other was what kept us going,” he said.

The quartet who, except for Thomas, all hail from Cork, were raising funds for CUH Children’s Unit. They have raised €22,000 since beginning the project in October, surpassing their target of €20,000.

“The support from our families and friends, our manager Marc O’Sullivan and our sponsor Affidea has been amazing. We want to thank everyone who supported us and donated,” he finished.

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