'Euphoric moment': Grandfather becomes oldest person to row 3,000 miles solo across Atlantic

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Feb 07, 2021, 09:21 AM(IST)

Frank Rothwell becomes the oldest person to row across Atlantic Photograph:( AFP )

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Frank Rothwell, from Oldham in North West England, completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2020 when he arrived in English Harbour on the island of Antigua 56 days, 2 hours and 41 minutes after setting off from the Canary Islands on December 12

A 70-year-old grandfather has become the oldest person to row across the Atlantic unassisted when he completed the 3,000-mile (4828 kilometres) journey from Tenerife to Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday.

Frank Rothwell, from Oldham in North West England, completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2020 when he arrived in English Harbour on the island of Antigua 56 days, 2 hours and 41 minutes after setting off from the Canary Islands on December 12.

Also read: Three Scottish brothers break world record to row across the Atlantic Ocean

As of 2130GMT on Saturday, Rothwell had raised just over $890,148 (£648,000) for Alzheimer's Research UK and is aiming to raise $1,373,649 (£1million). He said crossing the finish line was a “completely euphoric moment”.

Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation has pledged to double the first $686,775 (£500,000) of donations.

Rothwell went on: “I felt quite emotional approaching the finish. It took six long weeks to row the Atlantic, but the challenge itself has taken over 18 months of training and preparation, so I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved and the unbelievable journey I’ve been on.''

“While rowing, I received heartbreaking messages from people who have had similar experiences to my own, with my brother-in-law, Roger, so I hope I’ve helped other families in some way too.''

“I’d like to thank everyone who has reached into their pockets and donated. Having the support from so many means the world to me. Thank you.”

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We’re incredibly moved by Frank’s determination to raise £1m for dementia research. By taking on such a monumental challenge at 70 years old, he has helped to spread awareness and inspired people of all ages to take on their own challenges.

“To bring about life-changing treatments for dementia, fundraising efforts from ordinary people like Frank and his supporters provide a crucial lifeline to the progression of our research.”

Rothwell is an experienced sailor having sailed all over the world including three previous journeys across the Atlantic. In 2017, at the age of 66, he also climbed Kilimanjaro.

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