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Pair become first brother and sister team to row across Atlantic

PA Media logoPA Media 28/01/2020 By Rod Minchin, PA
a person sitting on a stage: The pair arrive in Antigua (TWAC) © Provided by PA Media The pair arrive in Antigua (TWAC)

A duo have become the first brother and sister team to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Cameron and Anna McLean, aged 32 and 25, completed the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge race in 43 days, 15 hours and 22 minutes.

The pair, who race as The Seablings, arrived in Antigua on Sunday having left the Canary Islands on December 12.

The McLeans, who were raised in Gloucestershire, were rowing to raise awareness and money for the gender equality charity UN Women UK.

a group of people posing for the camera: The pair completed the gruelling challenge in 43 days (Ben Duffy/TWAC) © Provided by PA Media The pair completed the gruelling challenge in 43 days (Ben Duffy/TWAC)

Ms McLean’s love of rowing began at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, where she was co-captain of the rowing team before moving to the US to attend university.

Her brother also started rowing while a student at Cheltenham College before he too crossed the Atlantic, moving to Miami for three years after graduating.

Speaking from Antigua, Mr McLean said: “It’s this moment where the seemingly impossible can be achieved, when men and women come together as equal partners.

a person wearing a blue shirt: Anna McLean (Ben Duffy/TWAC) © Provided by PA Media Anna McLean (Ben Duffy/TWAC)

“We’ve just proven what we should be doing as a society – striving every day to make this world a better, fairer and more equal place for everyone.

“Rowing the Atlantic Ocean is known as the ‘World’s Toughest Row’, and that word ‘tough’ has stuck with me as we were crossing.

“‘Tough’ really doesn’t summarise it that well. This is an epic adventure, a challenge like no other. This is something that is terrifying and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way.”

His sister said: “Absolutely nothing can prepare you for the elements of the Atlantic.

a man wearing a black shirt: Cameron McLean (Ben Duffy/Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge) © Provided by PA Media Cameron McLean (Ben Duffy/Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge)

“It was an absolutely euphoric experience, and the one thing that kept us going was every phone call to Atlantic Campaigns and every message we received.”

Talisker Whisky has sponsored the Atlantic Challenge for six years and is continuing to support it for another two years.

Natalia Montigny, from Talisker, added of the siblings: “What they have achieved is an unbelievable achievement, unthinkable to most.

“We know their journey will inspire others to embrace their inner-adventurer and reconnect with nature and the things that matter most.”

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