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3 Texans Triumphantly Crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a Rowboat

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The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge is called the “world’s toughest row” for good reason. Twelve teams attempted the feat of rowing across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua, and a Texas team called the American Oarsmen set two Guinness World Records on their successful journey. KHOU says that the three Houstonians, Mike Matson, David Alviar, and Brian Krauskopf, became the “first and the fastest three-man crew to row across the Atlantic.”

“It’s no surprise then that more people have been into space, or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic. It takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation,” the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge’s website reads. To call the trip difficult is an understatement. Rowing 3,000 miles over the span of 49 days, the American Oarsmen worked in four-hour shifts to propel the boat through the ocean while weathering storms, sores, hand calluses, and fatigue. They could only take naps, depriving themselves of anything near a full night’s sleep.

At one point, their boat nearly capsized, dumping their equipment in the water. They quickly retrieved their items since they must carry everything with them at all times and leave no trash behind. Plus, Alviar had an extremely special item with him for the whole journey. As soon as he reached Antigua, he dropped down on one knee and proposed to his boyfriend, making for a beautiful end to a long journey.