26 teams started the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – the toughest rowing race in the
world. The teams left Gomera, part of the Canary Islands, on the 14th December 2017 to
row 3,000 miles to Antigua. 2 hours on, 2 hours off, non-stop for up to 60 days. Among
the 10 teams rowing as a pair were The Oardinary Boys – 22 year-olds George Randell and Oliver Glanville. They were aiming to raise £60,000 for their two charities, The Against
Malaria Foundation and Alzheimer’s Research UK.
The World Record for the traditional double was 40 days, 4 hr, 3 min and for the concept
double (which they are) 41days, 2 hr, 38 min (established in 2013). They made the last
couple of days really exciting for all their followers when they were in what can only be
described as a neck and neck race with another British team often just a four miles in
between them. In the end they were narrowly beaten by Team2Recovery, but both teams
beat the original world record when they arrived in Antigua on Saturday, 27th January 2018
after 37 days – Team2Recovery beat them by 1 hour, 38 minutes for a new record of 37
days, 8 hours, 8 minutes. The third pair were one day and 12 hours behind them. The
teams of four are always expected to win and this year, the race has been won by The
Four Oarsman in 29 days 14 hours and 34 minutes for 2644 NM.
It’s an incredible achievement to finish the race, five teams dropped out, the last team
was still over 1200 NM away from Antigua when the Oardinary Boys arrived. George and
Oliver never expected to do this well when they started on their adventure, especially as
Oli had never rowed until last year. He was however inspired to follow in the legacy of his
uncle, Sir Peter Blake, the yachtsman who set the fastest time around the world as coskipper
of ENZA New Zealand, and led his country to successive victories in the America’s
Cup and was tragically killed in 2001 on the Amazon River.
Friends since Primary School, they both graduated from Oxford University last year. The
boys have faced 60ft waves and huge mid-Atlantic storms, which led to rival teams facing
emergency rescue. They have suffered from frequent hallucinations. All of their cutlery
was washed overboard in a storm which has been a surprisingly irritating issue! BUT they
have seen a 10 foot shark and 2 pods of whales and George has been hit in the face by a
flying squid! The same 2 birds visit their boat each morning at the same time and they
celebrated Christmas day and George’s 23rd birthday mid-Atlantic.
To keep them going they have been doing a cryptic crossword together each morning and
they have had a letter to open each day from family and friends back home. There is no
doubt that they are “physically past it” but are giving “all they have left” to push towards
the finish line.
One main request from the boat for their arrival in Antigua is a packet of Mr Kipling’s angel
The boys are raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK & The Against Malaria
Foundation. Oli’s family have a history of Alzheimer’s so the cause is particularly
meaningful to him. They have raised close to 50,000 pounds and hope to raise much
Antigua and Team2Recovery, family & friends welcomed them back on land and they are
now back in the UK and available for interviews.
Follow their progress and the final 100NM online at:
And we are sure that money for charity makes rowers row faster, so if you would like to
pledge some money, please visit: https://pledgit.net/campaign/0f79f0/the-oardinary-boystake-