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‘Relentless’ Irish rowers pass the halfway point

The Relentless Rowers are (l-r) Patrick O’Connor, Eoin O’Farrell, Seán Underwood and Thomas Browne.


By Irish Echo Staff

It’s all downhill from here.

Only there are no hills out there.

An intrepid foursome of Irish rowers reached the halfway point of their Atlantic crossing on New Year’s Day.

The team, dubbed the “Relentless Rowers,” hopes to break the current world record by completing the Talisker Whiskey Challenge from the Canary Islands starting point of La Gomera to the Caribbean island of Antigua in under 35 days.

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And Cork University Hospital is to receive vital funds as the four Irishmen compete in a 5,500 kilometer (3,000 nautical miles) rowing challenge across the Atlantic which began on December 12.

Their aim is to raise over €20,000 for the hospital’s Children’s Unit.

If successful, and thus far success seems likely, the group - comprising of junior doctors Seán Underwood and Patrick O’Connor, Cork-based podiatrist Eoin O’Farrell, and young Dublin entrepreneur Thomas Browne - will also be the first all-Irish four-man crew to complete the challenge.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, said a release, is known as the world’s toughest row, and the team is rowing and navigating a specially-designed 28 foot ocean rowing boat named Saoirse.

They are receiving no outside assistance and no re-supplies of food, drink or equipment during the race, surviving solely on what’s on-board.

Before setting out Sean Underwood said: “Fewer people have crossed the Atlantic than have climbed Everest, so we’re well aware of the challenge we’re undertaking, but quite simply, we believe that you only get one shot at life, everybody dies but not everybody lives.

“In the hospitals we work in, we are faced almost daily with the fragility of the human condition. To put a dream on hold in the hope of affording a better time to do it is a dangerous thing. Life fleets past us. There is and will never be a ‘good’ time to row an ocean, so we’re acting on our dreams here and now.

“If we can make a difference to just one child in the CUH Children’s Unit by competing in this race, then it will all have been worth it.”

While their primary goal is to raise funds for the Children’s Unit, the rowers are also hoping to raise awareness for suicide prevention charity Pieta House.

The team members are urging businesses, both Irish and from farther afield, to support their journey with a sponsor package. Enquiries can be made to

The journey itself can be tracked live at or on their social media at: Facebook: @RelentlessRowers; Instagram: @RelentlessRowers; Twitter: @RelentlessRower

To make a donation, go to