A Scottish trio will begin their mission to become the first three brothers to row any ocean in less than a week’s time – and it all started with a dram.
Jamie (26), Ewan (27) and Lachlan MacLean (21), who make up the team BROAR, are set to spend nearly two months row, row, rowing their boat from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean as part of this year’s Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which begins next Thursday (12 December).
The boys’ father is author Charles Maclean, one of the world’s foremost whisky experts and star of The Angel’s Share. Fueled by a late-night conversation, over a bottle of Talisker, the boys hatched the audacious plan which, after a year of relentless training and tireless fundraising, is now a reality.
Middle-brother Jamie, an architecture student at Glasgow School of Art, said:
“We live by the mantra that you should always do sober what you say you’d do drunk. Although that philosophy has made me do some pretty stupid things in the past, this is a challenge, unlike anything I’ve ever considered before.
“Mentally and physically, we’ll go to places we’ve never even dreamed of. But it will be worth it for the chance to have an experience which will be a defining moment in our lives, to make our friends, family and the people of Scotland proud, and to make a real and lasting difference to two incredible charities.”
The boys hope their dogged preparation, which included training under the guidance of one of the world’s toughest endurance athletes, Chloë Lanthier, will result in them not only being the fastest trio in history to row the Atlantic (41 days is the number to beat) but also see them exceed their fundraising target of £250,000 for two charities very close to their hearts; Feedback Madagascar and Children First. Thanks to a combination of events and support from individuals and businesses across the world, they are already more than halfway towards their fundraising total.
Father Charles hopes their indefatigable efforts, which will see them rowing day and night, repeating shifts of two hours of rowing and one hour of rest, will encourage Scots to dig deep for the charities.
He said: “While you’re dancing, drinking and being merry over the Christmas period, the boys will be rowing. Although they’ll be stuck with freeze-dried turkey on Christmas Day, I’ve made sure they can at the very least enjoy a dram on Christmas Day, so I’ve given them a very special bottle from my collection.
“From a young age, they’ve always gravitated towards the outdoors and marched to the beat of their own drum. This is no different. There’s nothing quite like being told your sons have decided to take on a challenge that most people wouldn’t dream of, to make a real difference to the lives of others. And what’s most special for me as a father is the fact they’ve chosen to do it together.”
Broar will burn 30,000 calories per day between them, and if the experience of past competitors is anything to go by, they should prepare themselves for sleep deprivation, hallucinations, 40-foot waves and shark-infested waters. However, Jamie’s bagpipes, Ewan’s ukulele and Lachlan’s harmonica will be used to keep themselves entertained during particularly tough times.
You can keep up to date with the challenge on Broar’s website www.broar.co.uk.