They beat the Atlantic!

They beat the Atlantic!

Would you fancy spending two months at sea trying to beat the Atlantic, in an open boat, rowing 3,000 miles and negotiating 50 foot waves? With just three equally bedraggled men for company? No chance, you say?! Strictly for professional rowers and budding James Cracknells?

Rowing 3,000 miles to raise £250,000

Well, four intrepid Bolton businessmen, including Sharples Group MD Mark Brocklehurst, took on all this and more in the aptly named Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. What’s more, they did the business. Mark Brocklehurst and his three companions undertook this challenge of a lifetime to raise £250,000 for the Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Not for nothing is the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge tagged the toughest race of its kind on earth. It’s more than a handful for even the most experienced professional rower. Yet three of the four Bolton businessmen who took on the 3,000 mile slog from La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua had hardly rowed any further than across their local park lake!

Passionate about a project at the Bolton Lads and Girls Club to provide life-changing guidance to local youngsters, they took on this ultimate challenge to raise much-needed funds.

Now, serial challenge enthusiast Mark Brocklehurst and his crewmates knew right from the beginning that this was going to be no pleasure cruise.

However, even they did not bargain for quite how tough things were to work out. In fact, when their 29’ boat capsized, some sincerely wondered whether their time had come!

Still, 59 days, 18 hours and 9 seconds later, the guys crossed the finishing line a very creditable eighth. Now the only figure they need to think about is the £250,000 target for the project. Contributions are still very welcome, and you can make one at any time by visiting And find out what they’ve been up to at:

Watch the team’s triumphant return to dry land!