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After 64 days at sea ex-Connacht and Leinster lock Browne completes epic row across Atlantic

‘Without a doubt this is the toughest challenge I have ever taken on,’ said Browne after embracing his parents, brother and sister in Antigua.

Updated Feb 16th 2018, 11:07 AM

GALWAY MAN DAMIAN Browne yesterday completed a gruelling and treacherous 4,800 kilometer solo row across the Atlantic.

The former rugby second row – who played for his native Connacht, Northampton, Brive, Leinster and Oyonnax – set foot on terra firma in Antigua after 64 days at sea on his boat Gulliver’s Travels. There to greet him were his parents, Mary and Joe, sister Gillian and younger brother Andrew – who currently plays for Connacht.

 

Browne has taken to tests of physical endurance since hanging up his rugby boots and this epic row (in aid of Médecins Sans Frontieres, the Strong Roots Foundation School in Rwanda and Madra dog rescue) comes after he ran the Marathon des Sables in 2016.

“It feels so good to finally arrive to such an amazing welcome in Antigua after nine weeks of suffering and hardship,” said the 37-year-old of his Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

“It’ll take a long time to process what I’ve just achieved, it was a huge challenge and journey that will live with me forever.

The first week was really tough as I kept getting pushed back towards land, and I’m very grateful that I found the determination to keep rowing. There are loads of lessons I’ll take away with me, but the main one I’ll remember is to never give up, no matter what the challenge, just keep going and you’ll make it in the end.

“Without a doubt this is the toughest challenge I have ever taken on – but one I’ll never forget.”

Watch Browne’s arrival in Antigua on his Facebook page, here.

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Sean Farrell

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