Three Texans rowed across the finish line Wednesday at Antigua after nearly 50 days of journeying unsupported over the Atlantic Ocean.
The team, called the “American Oarsmen,” finished fourth out of 12 teams in the 3,000-mile race, the Talisker Whisky Challenge. The team finished first in the three-man rowing class and is the first trio to ever finish the challenge.
The three men, David Alviar, Brian Krauskopf and Michael Matson, are members of the Texas Navy’s Hawkins Squadron, based in Galveston. They rowed in a Navy vessel, called the “Anne,” the squadron’s chaplain, Stephen Duncan, said.
The trip began Dec. 14 in the Canary Islands at La Gomera, off the coast of North Africa. The group traveled west and crossed the finish line seven weeks later at Antigua, east of Puerto Rico.
The group rowed with all of its food and equipment and had no ships accompanying it on the race.
The men also documented their trip on Twitter, noting some of the challenges of the trip. They were confined to the ship 24 hours a day, meaning they also were exposed to the elements.
“Finding the right sleeping posture is tough … you cramp, go numb, sweat or freeze. I think I found the secret though: ibuprofen,” one tweeted Jan. 20.
The rowers also came back from the trip looking different than when they left. One of the men noted on Twitter that he lost 20 to 25 pounds on the journey.
“Starting to notice some physical changes: supremely bushy beards, majestic tans, tighter waist lines,” he tweeted Jan. 7.