News & Views

Update from Broar – the Maclean brothers incredible transatlantic row

19th May 2020

It was a bit of a surprise when RobMac signed up to support the Maclean brothers on the Talisker Whisky Transatlantic Challenge that they would both set so many records and get so much publicity.

RobMac caught up with them to see how they were getting on.

Ewan Maclean started by saying that he and Jamie were missing being on the water due to the current COVID-19 situation, “But youngest brother Lachlan is currently sailing back across the Atlantic to the UK following a spell of working on yachts in Antigua after the race!”.

The Maclean brothers arriving in Antigua

Apart from 3 world records – the fastest 3 man team to cross the Atlantic (breaking the previous record by an incredible 6 days); the youngest 3 man team to complete the challenge and the first set of 3 brothers to row any ocean – what were their reflections on being at sea for 35 days?

Jamie said, “Looking back over the final days and hours of our row across the Atlantic is particularly striking at the moment. Whilst at sea our existence had been very different from the norm. Basic. Perpetual. Restricted. An immense clarity of mind and a simple routine. We rowed together as brothers, rising to the challenge and prevailing against this overwhelming ocean. Perspective is everything out there, and constantly seeking positivity pays dividends.”

Ewan said “Rowing toward the coastline of Antigua, we knew our perspective would again shift. Our restrictions would be lifted. Our lives return to normal (after a suitable amount of celebration, of course). It is safe to say that the arrival into English Harbour was utterly overwhelming, incredible and surreal. As the cacophony of horns from the super yachts sounded (a competition of who had the biggest horn) we were reunited with friends and family and welcomed back onto land by hundreds of strangers. A moment that none of us will ever forget.”

And what for the future?

Ewan again, “Isolation and living with restrictions forces a whole new viewpoint on life. Coming out the other side has given us a newfound appreciation of support, adventure, preparation and freedom – and despite the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, I believe there is plenty of scope for hope on the horizon and positives to be recognised by all.

As for future ventures, there’s certainly going to be more. What exactly we aren’t quite sure, perhaps land based next – although another row hasn’t been completely ruled out.”

So far, the brothers have raised £130K for Children 1st and Feedback Madagascar. They hope this will be topped up to over £200K once the whisky that we collected up the West coast of Scotland is sold in the coming months. You can watch a fun video of how they collected the whisky:.