Shrewsbury School

Old Salopian Dan Howie finishes Atlantic Row as champion

Thursday 30 January 2014

Over the last two months, no fewer than three Old Salopians have been making the epic 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic in two-man rowing boats. We are delighted to report that Dan Howie (Ch 1998-03) and his friend Will North have not only completed the world's toughest rowing race safely but have won their class in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Meanwhile Harry Martin-Dreyer and Alex Bland (both Rt 2000-05) are nearing the end of their journey too.

Dan Howie and Will North

Dan Howie (on the right in the picture) and Will North arrived into English Harbour, Antigua on Sunday 26th January 53 days 9 hours and 30 minutes after setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

“We are ecstatic to have won our class in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge," said Dan. "Nothing could have prepared us for the treacherous conditions at sea and it feels phenomenal to have overcome the challenges and won our class. Thank you to all who have supported us along the way.”

Their aim was to raise as much money as possible for three charities close to their hearts: Cancer Research UK, Leukemia & Lymphoma Research and St Anna’s. Rowing 24 hours a day in alternate two-hour shifts, Dan and Will survived on freeze-dried food rations and dealt with excruciating sores as they battled though a series of testing circumstances - waves reaching up to 50ft, the dangers of rowing in a major shipping lane, deadly wildlife, physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation. There were some morale-boosting highlights too though, including dolphin sightings and being flanked by a pod of whales.

You can read all about their amazing adventure in their blog, which also includes details for making donations to their nominated charities -

Meanwhile Harry Martin-Dreyer and Alex Bland (both Rt 2000-05), who spoke movingly about their undertaking at the House Singing Competition in October, are just under 100 miles from the north point of Barbados. They have been rowing for seven weeks. In their latest blog, Alex wote: "There is a distinct sense of excitement on board as we count down the remaining miles.  Perhaps, a little prematurely I already have the binoculars poised ready and awaiting – looking forward to the first sight of land…"

To read their blog and to follow the final stages of their mammoth undertaking, please visit

They have raised a staggering £137,000 for their charities JDRF and Cure Leukaemia.

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