Telecom Challenge 1 (Maui), crewed by Matt Goodman and Steve Westlake have won the Ward Evans Atlantic Rowing Challenge

The two-man New Zealand team, Telecom Challenge 1 (Maui), crewed by Matt Goodman and Steve Westlake have won the Ward Evans Atlantic Rowing Challenge. They landed at Port St Charles, Barbados, at 1131 GMT, 18 November 2001.

They missed out on beating the world record of 41 days 2 hours 55 minutes by just under a day. The current record is held by fellow Kiwis Rob Hamill and the late Phil Stubbs who won the race in 1997. To break the record the New Zealanders would have had to be in Barbados at 1210 Saturday 17 November GMT, 0810 Barbadian time.

Matt and Steve made excellent progress throughout the race. After landing, they commented: “Although the achievement hasn’t really sunk in as yet, we are extremely proud to have followed in Rob and Phil’s footsteps. It was our aim from day one to win the Ward Evans Atlantic Rowing Challenge and although we are disappointed to have narrowly missed the record, we still feel absolutely thrilled to have won the race. The first thing we are looking forward to is having a warm shower and a decent meal – as for our next challenge I think it will probably involve dry land!”

Sir Chay Blyth, Executive Chairman of Challenge Business, the race organisers, said: “This has been a fantastic and exciting race and it is tremendous to see such a closely-fought battle for first place between the New Zealand and Australian teams right from the beginning. The performance of Telecom Challenge 1 was not affected by the last minute replacement of Rob Hamill who injured his hand only days before the start, and it is amazing to see that Matt and Steve finish the Ward Evans Atlantic Rowing Challenge after only 42 days at sea.”

Close behind Matt and Steve are their keen rivals, Team Freedom, manned by Australian’s Paul McCarthy and Patrick Weinrauch, who, as of their last satellite reading at 11.11.01 GMT, have 174 miles to go to the race finish.

There’s also another mammoth battle at sea as Telecom Challenge 25 (Whangaroa), New Zealand’s women’s team, Stephanie Brown and Jude Ellis, battle to regain third place from Team 30: Win Belgium, who overtook them earlier this week. They are the only all female team in the race. Close behind them is Team, who are currently leading the British effort in fifth place, manned by Andrew Chapple from Guernsey and Ian Anderson from Jersey.

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