The Atlantic was first rowed in 1896 by two intrepid Norwegians, Frank Samuelson and George Harbo. The pair set off from New York City in June and arrived in The Scilly Isles in July having completed the crossing in an incredible 55 days. The duo's record time was not bettered until 2010, 114 years later!
Nowadays, the preferred route for the crossing is from La Gomera (Canary Islands) to Antigua as part of The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Established in 1997, the Challenge was run biennially until, having gathered such acclaim, it became a yearly event in 2015. The current record for the crossing stands at 37 days, set in the 2015 race. That race saw 5 Guinness World Records smashed and an incredible £3+ million raised for charity.
The epic challenge pits solos, pairs, trios and fours against one another in a bid to reach the dry land of the West Indies first and take the spoils and bragging rights. However, completing the crossing at all is an incredible feat; many have tried and failed with The Atlantic Ocean smashing boats, dashing hopes and even claiming lives as a haunting reminder that this is not a challenge to be taken lightly. It is understandably stamped with the tag "The World's Toughest Row".