Members of CHHP Clinic win ‘Worlds Toughest’ Endurance Race

Members of CHHP Clinic win ‘Worlds Toughest’ Endurance Race

“Battled against extremes in physical and mental exhaustion.”

Two members of the CHHP Rowing Clinic have battled against extremes in physical and mental exhaustion to row the Atlantic in an endurance race dubbed “the world’s toughest”.

Friends Mike Burton and Tom Salt were the first team across the finish line in Antigua today, more than a month and 3,000 miles after setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands at the end of last year.

Rowing in shifts of two hours on, two hours off, 53-year-old Mr Burton and 30-year-old Mr Salt, who make up Team Locura, competed in the arduous race to raise money for the Generous Hearts Foundation.

They completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 40 days, two hours, 38 minutes and 54 seconds.

Mr Salt, originally from Birdham in Chichester, but who lives in Kennington in London, said: “Mike and I are absolutely ecstatic to have won the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

“We’re no strangers to extreme challenges, but this is definitely the hardest thing we’ve ever done and pushed us to new limits both physically and mentally.

“We will be celebrating this evening with our friends and family – and the burger we have been dreaming about since day one.”

The team have fought 40ft (12m) waves, tropical storms, seasickness, sleep deprivation, excruciating body sores, a capsize and even an encounter with a 20ft (6m) marlin fish which left a small hole in their boat.

Mr Burton, from Bridlington in Yorkshire, met Mr Salt in 2010 when they competed in the same crew of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and finished in fourth place.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge saw 16 teams from around the world start the race on December 4 from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. With two teams airlifted to safety following capsizes and one team rescued by a passing bulk-carrier ship, only 13 teams remain in the world’s toughest rowing race.

Talisker brand manager Sophie Brookes said: “A huge congratulations to Locura Rows The Atlantic from all of us at Talisker.

“The 2013/14 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge has definitely been living up to its name as the world’s toughest rowing race – every day has thrown new challenges at the teams and we continue to be inspired by the teams’ determination and mental strength.”

The remaining teams are expected to arrive in Antigua over the next week.

The teams include Row2Recovery, which comprises two injured servicemen and two able-bodied members of the armed forces, raising money for Help for Heroes.

Article featured on London Evening Standard