‘Damian’, ‘Browne’, ‘Brownie’ or ‘Auld Stoc’ – call him what you want but he sure isn’t lazy! Tomorrow (12th December) he will set off on a solo row across the Atlantic that will last more than 3,000 miles.
Damian’s epic adventure will begin from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands and take him west to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua & Barbuda. The race, entitled the Taliskar Atlantic Whisky Challenge, is an annual event that demands months, if not years of preparation in order to become physically and mentally conditioned for it.
Damian, who has amassed over 16 years of professional rugby experience has bounded into ‘retirement’ with other notable expeditions. Last April he ran the 257km Marathon del Sables in the Moroccan Sahara. This was a dream of his for 12 years and he completed it with a smile on his face – despite the gruelling conditions.
Now, he faces a 50-90 day solo row across the extremes of the Atlantic in a dream that originated 16 years ago. Damian will spend at least 12 hours each day rowing.
Throughout the expedition The Galway Eye will be dovetailing with Damian and providing readers with regular updates on his progress. His brother and Connacht rugby player Andrew Browne says of Damian:
Once he gets something into his head, he just does it, no matter what!
Damian’s adventure is raising funds for three noteworthy charities which are close to his heart:
- Médecins Sans Frontiéres Ireland provide emergency medical aid to front-line disasters internationally
- The Strong Roots Foundation is a school for children from 4 to 9 years of age in Rwanda
- Madra is an Irish volunteer-run organisation which seeks homes for neglected, abused and unwanted dogs
When the high seas come a-crashing tomorrow they will be challenged by the animal that Damian Browne will undoubtedly summon from within.
Best of luck ‘Auld Stoc’ from all the team at The Galway Eye – see you on the other side! 😉