They’ve done it – Brightsides reach land after 3,200-mile row across the Atlantic


They’ve done it.

The brilliant Brightsides rowing team have reached Antigua after an epic 52 days, 18 hours and 53 minutes at sea rowing across the Atlantic.
The crew of four – Warwickshire turkey farmer Rod Adlington, Guy Minshull from Kenilworth, serving paratrooper Alex Perry and Lancashire vet Anna Williams – reached land yesterday more than seven weeks and 3,200 miles after setting off from Lanzarote.
As one of the team’s principal sponsors we’ve been following their progress closely and could not be more proud of everything they have achieved and the huge amounts of money they have already raised for Get A-Head and Meningitis Now.
The crew have become the first mixed team to complete the C-Map Atlantic Dash – one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges – and Anna is also the first female to complete this specific ocean regatta.
The success follows months of planning, training and dedication from Rod, who decided to embark on the rowing challenge in memory of his son Barney, who died from meningitis in 2005 when he was just three-year's old.
The team set off from Lanzarote on January 3 in their boat named Mrs Nelson and has rowed non-stop in two-hour shifts for the duration of the journey which ended on February 25 in Jolly Harbour, Antigua.
The team faced significant storms, waves as high as high as 30ft, challenging wind conditions, flying fish, sea sickness, sleep deprivation and severe blistering to the hands during the voyage.
They also experienced some of the most magnificent sunsets, multiple close encounters with dolphins and whales and Rod celebrated his birthday whilst out at sea.
The crossing took longer than planned due to storms forcing them to anchor down to prevent being blown backwards but despite the difficult conditions Rod said it had been an adventure of a lifetime.
“I feel amazing, it’s just incredible that we made it. 
“The weather was truly awful at times, and we endured some real battles. There were moments when we questioned if we would make it and we worried that food supplies were running low. 
“The winds we encountered stopped us dead in our tracks at points on the crossing but all we kept thinking was that we didn’t want to stop or have to be rescued so we just battled on the best we could. 
“I think the worst moment was when we had to row backwards to make sure we hit the wind in the right direction so that we could move forwards again. That was tough. But we made it, and we are incredibly grateful for all the support we have received.”
Rod paid tribute to his “incredible” crew describing Guy as an “absolute rock”, praising Alex for his organisational skills, supplies of hidden treats and life-saving noodles, and Anna for her “constant positivity” and sheer power.
“My three crew mates have been utterly incredible, and I'd like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
“We’ve rowed for more than 660 two-hour sessions and the boat has only stopped five-times – on one occasion to celebrate my birthday and the others so that we could scrape the hull. 
“We’ve not stopped moving. We’ve done hundreds of crew changeovers during the journey and no one has been late or missed a session which is utterly staggering.
“Hand on heart, I can honestly say that we left Lanzarote as three colleagues and we have arrived in Antigua as friends for life.
“It has been an absolute honour and privilege to row with these guys. I feel so blessed and happy to have had them by my side and I cannot thank them enough.”
The Brightsides team – named after Barney’s favourite song ‘Mr Brightside by The Killers – has so far raised almost half of its £250,000 target.
Tom Bromwich, Bromwich Hardy founding partner and chair of trustees at Get A-Head, said: “We could not be prouder of Rod and the crew. What they have achieved over the last few weeks is truly remarkable. 
“I for one cannot begin to imagine what it must be like rowing non-stop for six weeks with so little sleep and nothing more than flap jack and ration packs for nourishment.
“They are an inspiration, and we would like to congratulate Rod, Alex, Anna and Guy for their dedication and commitment to completing this challenge.
“The money they have raised will help us to continue our brilliant work to support people across the UK living with head and neck diseases.”
As well as our sponsorship, the The Brightsides have been supported on their journey by Lodders Solicitors and a number of other companies.
The C-Map Atlantic Dash is an annual ocean rowing challenge organised by Monkey Fish Adventures.
To find out more about the Brightsides or to make a donation visit 
For more information about Get A-Head and to support its work, visit

* Pictures: C-Map Atlantic Dash *