Rowers complete epic Atlantic challenge for cystic fibrosis charity

(L to R): James Timbs-Harrison, Stuart Markland, Liam Browning and James Kendall row more than 3,000

(L to R): James Timbs-Harrison, Stuart Markland, Liam Browning and James Kendall row more than 3,000 nautical miles for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust - Credit: Archant

Four friends who braved a hurricane and slept no more than two hours at a time for 44 days have completed an incredible 3,400-mile rowing trip across the Atlantic in the name of charity.

Stuart Markland, James Timbs-Harrison, Liam Browning, and James Kendall, whose team is called “All Beans No Monkeys”, started their epic journey in La Gomera on December 20 as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – billed “the toughest rowing race on Earth”.

They arrived in Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua on February 3, coming in sixth place and raising over £27,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the process.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing.

“During our first week at sea, it really started to hit us just what we were up against and how long it would be until we had some more varied human interaction,” said Highbury man Mr Markland, 31.

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“But we were also mindful of the two-year journey we had been on to get to this point and that we were on the final stretch to completing it.”

The team members alternated between two hours of rowing and two hours of resting for the 44-day duration of the gruelling race, during which they faced huge waves, hurricane-strength winds, 40 degrees heat, while suffering bruised bodies and sleep deprivation.

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“Rowing the Atlantic in hurricane conditions was a scary experience,” said Mr Markland, “but [we were] spurred on by the support of everyone back home and the thought of the difference our fundraising could make for people like my nephew who have cystic fibrosis.

“We strapped down everything on the boat and squashed into our cabins for 48 hours.

“It meant no rowing for 48 hours, and being in the cabins felt like being in a washing machine on a 40 degree heat!”

To date, the four friends have raised over £27,000 and are planning to hold a raffle to help them reach their £30,000 target.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening condition that causes the internal organs to be clogged with thick mucas, resulting in chronic infections and inflammation of the lungs, with only half of sufferers living to celebrate their 40th birthday.

To find out more about the team’s journey or to donate visit

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