Winners of Race Across The World 2024 crowned

Best friends Alfie and Owen have become the youngest pair to be crowned the winners of Race Across The World.

Football referee Alfie, 20, said completing the 15,000km race across eastern Asia alongside trainee pilot Owen, 20, was the “best moment” of their lives.

The pair, who were the “ones to beat” going into the final leg, secured the victory and the £20,000 prize after travelling from northernmost Japan to the Indonesian island of Lombok in east Asia without flights or phones.

They saw off tough competition from mother and daughter Eugenie and Isabel, who came in eight minutes behind them, while brother and sister James and Betty came in third and couple Stephen and Viv came in fourth.

Race Across the World finalists
Race Across The World winners Owen and Alfie (Lucy North/PA)

The last stretch of the race saw Alfie and Owen race along the beach and into tropical waters before they opened the guest book to discover they had reached the final checkpoint in first place.

The best friends were elated as they screamed “we’ve done it” and hugged each other.

Afterwards, an excited Owen said: “We came, and we saw, and we succeeded” while Alfie added: “Best moment of our lives. Undeniably. Can’t believe it.”

Following their win, the football referee said: “It feels like we took home some incredible memories, unbelievable experiences.

“We did this once-in-a-lifetime thing with each other, being the youngest two to ever do it. And then to win it as well, I mean, it’s incredible.”

Mother and daughter Eugenie and Isabel arrived on the beach around eights minutes later to claim second place.

“We did it. We’ve come in a good second. If we were to lose to anybody, we always said that we would want to lose to Alfie and Owen,” Eugenie said.

“They’re deserving of it as well, they’ve worked hard.”

The following day, 24 hours and 34 minutes behind the winners, Betty and James arrived in third place.

Betty said: “I think, coming away from this experience we’ve learned how to communicate better, and we now both have an extra person to lean on if we need it, it’s amazing.”

Married couple Stephen and Viv were the last to finish, completing the course 30 hours and 20 minutes behind the winners.

Reflecting on their fourth place finish, they said: “Gutted we’re not winning, obviously, but we’re so pleased for the boys.

“This is the end of the biggest adventure of our lives.”

Alfie and Owen during the show (Studio Lambert/BBC/PA)
Alfie and Owen during the show (Studio Lambert/BBC/PA)

The final episode saw Alfie and Owen begin the last leg with a 12-minute lead ahead of Eugenie and Isabel.

They started in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta with more than 1,000km to conquer before of reaching the finish line in Lombok.

After making good time on their journey, the friends came up against a major hurdle as they discovered the boat to the small island of Gili Meno runs only during daylight hours, forcing them to wait until the morning to set off.

The delay allowed Eugenie and Isabel to catch up, bringing the two pairs head-to-head as they both waited for the boat crossing.

Alfie said he felt “defeated” by the delay but Owen retained a positive attitude and believed they just needed to “push through” to the end.

At sunrise both teams secured boats and they raced across the waters at high-speed to Gili Meno.

As the first team to disembark from their boat, Alfie and Owen received a message instructing them to head to the Masjid Mosque.

Despite leaving their compass in their rucksack, the boys remained calm and navigated their way to the temple where they were given further instructions for reaching the finish line, which was located on a white-sand beach.

After sprinting along the beach, the boys ran into the tropical waters where the final guest book awaited them.

Across the eight-part series, the four partnerships were pushed to their mental and physical limits as they travelled 15,000km over 50 days, crossing six seas and eight borders along the way.

The teams will reunite for a reunion special which will air on BBC One at 10.40pm on Wednesday May 29.