Brothers launch boat ahead of 3,000-mile Atlantic challenge

Three brothers who plan to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic have launched their boat in Loch Lomond.

Lachlan, 21, Ewan, 27, and Jamie MacLean, 25, from Edinburgh, will take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December, rowing from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.

In doing so they will become the youngest team to ever take on the challenge, as well as the first team made of up brothers.

Having tested out their 28ft rowing boat on Loch Lomond during their official launch on Sunday, they now plan to row the distilleries of Scotland’s west coast, collecting whisky to sell and raise money for charity.

Speaking to the Press Association at the launch event, Ewan said: “From August 3-10 we’ll be rowing all the way around the west coast including Arran, Islay and Jura, so we’ll hit pretty much every single distillery from Talisker.

“Through dad (Charles)’s contacts in the whisky industry, they’re all very kindly donating a couple of bottles or a case or two.

“At the end of the row dad will blend all of the whiskies together and they’ll sit in a cask and we’ll auction the whole lot off and all that money will go towards charity.

“It’ll be a great event because it will give us quite an interesting row, quite a technical row.

“It’ll be a little bit more challenging in many respects actually than the Atlantic because you’ve got to navigate quite a complex coastline.

“But it’ll be a fantastic training experience for us, and a fantastic fundraiser.”

Launch day. 🛶Taking her out for a spin in Loch Lomond.#broaratlantic

Posted by Broar on Sunday, June 16, 2019

In total, the brothers hope to raise £250,000 for their chosen charities through the gruelling ocean crossing, Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar.

The race is expected to last for more than a month and contestants expect to face 40ft high waves and the risk of capsizing.

It has been described as one of the world’s toughest rows and also means the boys will be away for Christmas and New Year with Ewan saying: “We’ll be missing home on Christmas Day with our freeze-dried ration food.”

He also admitted the idea originated from the youngest brother, Lachlan, but was on board as soon as he was involved in discussions with his siblings.

MacLean brothers
Ewan, Lachlan and Jamie MacLean are raising money for charities Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar (Jane Barlow/PA)

The eldest brother told PA: “(Lachlan) was at university at the time and was telling Jamie about it.

“Not knowing what time of year it was going to be they were like ‘oh maybe we could do this over one of our long student summers’ or something like that. Then of course found out the race was December.

“I got wind of the whole thing as the eldest brother and said ‘there’s absolutely no way you guys are doing this without me’.

“We’ve always had that kind of taste for adventure since we were very young so it was right up all of our streets.

“Since then it’s grown and grown, it’s been a really interesting campaign actually because there’s a huge amount of organisation that has to go in.

“It’s been a real process getting to now and has evolved into quite a big project.”

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