Brothers set off on 3000-mile Atlantic rowing challenge

Jamie, Ewan and Lachlan MacLean will spend nearly two months on their boat.

Brothers: Lachlan, Jamie and Ewan MacLean.
Brothers: Lachlan, Jamie and Ewan MacLean.

A family trio have set off on their mission to become the first three brothers to row across the Atlantic.

Jamie, Ewan and Lachlan MacLean will spend nearly two months on their boat, as they travel from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean as part of this year’s Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The Edinburgh siblings, sons of author Charles MacLean, hatched the audacious plan during a late-night conversation over a bottle of Talisker, which will see them take on the 3000-mile journey.

Middle-brother Jamie, 26, an architecture student at Glasgow School of Art, said: “We live by the mantra that you should always do sober what you say you’d do drunk.

“Although that philosophy has made me do some pretty stupid things in the past, this is a challenge unlike anything I’ve ever considered before.”

The race, which got under way at 11am on Thursday, will see the three – who form the team Broar – take on competitors with a military background, but that hasn’t fazed them in their preparation.

Trio: The Broar boat.

Following a year of relentless training under the guidance of one of the world’s toughest endurance athletes, Chloe Lanthier, the brothers could be on the verge of something special.

Jamie added: “Mentally and physically, we’ll go to places we’ve never even dreamed of. But it will be worth it for the chance to have an experience which will be a defining moment in our lives, to make our friends, family and the people of Scotland proud, and to make a real and lasting difference to two incredible charities.”

They aim to exceed their fundraising target of £250,000 for two charities close to their hearts; Feedback Madagascar and Children First.

Dad Charles hopes their indefatigable efforts, which will see them rowing day and night, repeating shifts of two hours of rowing and one hour of rest, will encourage Scots to dig deep for the charities.

He said: “While you’re dancing, drinking and being merry over the Christmas period, the boys will be rowing.

“Although they’ll be stuck with freeze-dried turkey on Christmas Day, I’ve made sure they can at the very least enjoy a dram on Christmas Day, so I’ve given them a very special bottle from my collection.

Family: The brothers with their dad Charles.

“From a young age, they’ve always gravitated towards the outdoors and marched to the beat of their own drum. This is no different.

“There’s nothing quite like being told your sons have decided to take on a challenge that most people wouldn’t dream of, to make a real difference to the lives of others.

“And what’s most special for me as a father is the fact they’ve chosen to do it together.”

Broar will burn 30,000 calories a day between them and if the experience of past competitors is anything to go by, they should prepare themselves for sleep deprivation, hallucinations, 40-foot waves and shark-infested waters.

However, Jamie’s bagpipes, 27-year-old Ewan’s ukulele and 21-year-old Lachlan’s harmonica will be used to keep themselves entertained during particularly tough times.

Ewan has taken a sabbatical from his job as a design engineer for Dyson to take on the challenge, while Glasgow University student Lachlan will continue his studies on the boat.

Donations can be made at broar.co.uk.


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