A civic reception has been held to mark the achievements of the ‘Home to Portrush’ rowing crew.
Luke Baker, George McAlpin, Alistair Cooper and Gareth Barton made history last month when they completed the Atlantic Challenge race, known as the ‘world’s toughest row’.
The four amateur sportsmen finished in fifth place, becoming the fastest team from Northern Ireland to ever row across the Atlantic. They spent over 31 days in the water after setting off from the Canary Islands, travelling 3000 miles to the finish line in Antigua.
Applauding their outstanding performance, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, said: “I was delighted to recognise the crew’s achievements by hosting this reception in our civic headquarters. Luke, George, Alistair and Gareth have proven themselves to be fantastic ambassadors for the Borough, and their inspirational efforts put Portrush to the fore in this global event. This is the first time that a team from Northern Ireland has competed in this gruelling challenge, and it’s a huge source of pride for our area to see the crew perform so well.”
Their participation in the race has also provided a boost for a number of local good causes. Supporters helped to raise over £26,000 which will be donated to the RNLI, Row for Ross and Willie’s Orphan Fund.