OAR Northwest wins race across Atlantic

August 18, 2006 

At 7:44 a.m. today - 69 days after shoving off from New York, OAR Northwest won the 2,863-mile Ocean Fours Rowing Race across the North Atlantic.

“This has been an amazing experience for us and we are all very emotional at the moment,” said team member Greg Spooner as the team cross the finish line. “This project has involved many more people than just the four of us and we are incredibly grateful for all the support of our family and friends.”

The team finish 241 miles ahead of the next closest competitor, a British boat that likely won’t finish until late next week.

While the race is over, as of 9:45 a.m. the crew of University of Puget Sound graduates still had 48 miles to cover to reach land in Falmouth, England.

They were offered a tow, but declined in order to become the first men ever to row from mainland United States to mainland United Kingdom and the first Americans to row across the North Atlantic.

If the good weather they enjoyed Friday holds, they could finish early today.

The team of Jordan Hanssen, Dylan LeValley, Greg Spooner and Brad Vickers battled Tropical Depression Alberto early in the race and, for the last two weeks, strong northerly winds that slowed their progress. The weather knocked them off pace to break the crossing record of 61 days.

“The rowing prowess and strength of these four young Americans has clearly shone through,” said race director Simon Chalk. “Their dedication, teamwork and desire to succeed, has proved beyond all doubt to be a winning formula and as a fellow ocean rower, I am over the moon to be able to congratulate these amazing sportsmen on this most spectacular achievement.”

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