Ghent brothers complete 'World's Toughest Row' across the Atlantic

Ghent brothers complete 'World's Toughest Row' across the Atlantic
The Ghent brothers completed the nearly 5,000 kilometre rowing journey in just under 40 days. Credit: Atlantic Campaigns/Facebook

Two brothers from Ghent completed a thousand-kilometre rowing trip across of the Atlantic on Tuesday, when they arrived in the Caribbean island of Antigua after just under 40 days at sea.

Damien, 29 and Bernard Van Durme, 27, took part in the Atlantic Rowing Race, which saw them depart from the Canary Islands on 12 December to embark on a nearly 5,000-kilometre journey.

Rowing under the name the Van Durme Brothers, the pair was one of 35 teams to take part in the race, in which Belgian rower Carl Plasschaert is also participating.

"The guys can't wait to step on the land of Antigua! Starting from midnight they’ll row 1h-1h until the finish," the brothers wrote on a Facebook post ahead of their arrival.

To prepare for the race, the brothers told De Standaard that they trained between 10 and 12 hours each week in order to be able to keep up with the face of two hours of rowing, two hours of rest, as well as eating and clearing plankton off the boats surface to keep it speedy.

"I am especially afraid that I will get tired of it," Damien said, adding that they were also afraid of potential encounters with sharks of swordfish.[0]=68.ARD3yR3bVc725Iarz6M0gZioYK_PQnhcdCIX9_dheVchPnphN0wQ-xJn-wTy4V7-F19It1eh4D_SZQGfHpdU_wtccysf3BtI-cOwTIKsDRXqk63r0v_URzVAPnHOMIgnf5x9ZNDd5KsNDj2aExLZ2fn_Y88Pam8JI1-WsYUCOwN9fUX2phQlI9C7gMCEz9CveX2s26k7rDpzM9voxk0Vktq2mqkUnIt6q7Gt3uFT6Vqi6SsUynmlP1YGZSO4KxXFqaNQ902Jn7sFWwMVpZFgnXo9y2VlDN7DbPFmQg2ajyNmZi8bNpn9IcpDghdHmFQDtg_CqKpa0wWpg_Wui0yF_0mJxg&__tn__=-R

Touching land on Tuesday at around 5:15 local time (10:15 in Belgium), the pair were greeted by a cheering public and snatched the 13th place in the competition, with their arrival live-streamed on Facebook.

"They have rowed [4,828.032 kilometres] across the Atlantic in 39 days, 21 hours and 2 minutes," the race organiser wrote on Facebook.

A four-person team of British rowers were the first to reach the coast of Antigua on 14 January, completing the crossing of the "world's toughest row," in 32 days.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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