The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is billed as “the world’s toughest rowing race,” and considering it’s a 3,000-mile rowing competition across the Atlantic Ocean, that sounds about right.
Jamie Sparks and Luke Birch finished in fifth place this year out of 17 teams, but in the process became the youngest pair to row across the Atlantic. The two 21-year-olds set off from the Canary Islands on December 3, 2013 and arrived in Antigua 54 days later on January 27th.
Duracell was one of their sponsors and teamed with agency Grey London to document part of their journey. Beyond the physical and mental endurance required for such a trip, it also included run-ins with hungry sharks, 40-foot waves and dodging Russian shipping containers.
The boat the young men used measures approximately 24 feet by six feet, into which 90 days worth of rations and other supplies–including tools to convert salt water into drinking water, solar-powered GPS–are stowed. If racers have to ask for anything else during the competition, they’re disqualified. Sparks and Birch had another extra tied to their mast the entire trip–a little pink bunny.
For all their hardship, the two friends also raised more than $500,000 for Breast Cancer Care.