Charlie Pitcher Smashes Record 16 Mar 2013
On February the 6th, Charlie, RCYC member, set off from San Sebastian de La Gomera in the Canaries, bound for Port St Charles, Barbados in a 6.5m long rowing boat. On Wednesday, 13th March he arrived, fatigued and broken but ecstatic to find his wife and sons surprise him by greeting him on the dock, when as far as he knew, they were at home in Essex.
Essex born Charlie Pitcher first rowed the Atlantic in 2010, between
competing in the Marathon Des Sables in 2009 and undertaking a 350
kilometre non-stop run across Scotland in 2011. His 2010 crossing was
hindered by bad weather, forcing him to spend ten days at a standstill (or
going backwards). Not one to settle for one Atlantic crossing, he did not stop until he had the World Record he knew he could achieve.
Charlie became the world’s fastest solo transatlantic rower with a time of 35 days and 33 minutes, beating the previous record of 40 days, 9 hours and 44 minutes, set in January 2012.
How did he beat this record quite so substantially? His boat is the most advanced and innovative ocean rowing boat ever built, a Rannoch Solo constructed out of lightweight carbon Nomex and designed by world renowned naval architect Phil Morr. This time he was able to select his departure date to wait for optimum conditions before setting off.
During the challenge the boat rolled, (turned turtle) twice, suffered four knock-downs (or broaches), one cabin slap (where wave enters cabin because rower forgets to shut hatch!) He experienced a body breakdown at Day 18 after pushing himself way too hard in the first half of the challenge. Sometimes he averaged upwards of 90 miles a day, unheard of for a solo rower. An outstanding achievement for a 50 year old!