The team on arrival in Antigua. L-R: Angus Barton, Angus Collins, Joe Barnett and Jack Mayhew

Former Rugby scholar Angus Barton wins “world’s toughest row” with record-breaking team

As part of the Ocean Reunion team, alumnus and former Rugby scholar Angus Barton (Exercise and Sport Sciences, 2012) has triumphed in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, known as the “world’s toughest row.” Barton, along with teammates Joe Barnett, Jack Mayhew and Angus Collins, won the race and broke the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge record by completing the gruelling 3,000-mile race in 37 days 9 hours and 12 minutes. 

Rowing in shifts of 2 hours on, 2 hours off, the old school friends beat 25 teams from across the world to win the race. Along the way, the teams battled tropical storms, 40ft waves, sleep deprivation, seasickness and excruciating body sores. Angus Collins, the Ocean Reunion skipper, also built the 7X2 metre boat they called home for 37 days.

Collins commented on their win: “We’re ecstatic to have won the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and this huge welcome in Antigua has blown us away.  It was incredibly tough and we’re so glad it’s over but it was such a fantastic experience.  I wouldn’t do it again in a hurry but if any of these guys asked, I’d absolutely do it again.” 

Keith Fleming, Director of Rugby at Exeter, commented: “I am really impressed by the team’s success and delighted to see that Angus is still adding to his sporting achievements. During his time at Exeter, Angus was committed and worked hard to get excellent results, so I am not surprised by this latest accomplishment! He is a real inspiration and I’m sure we can expect to see more great things from him in the future.”

The team took on the arduous challenge to raise money for charity, and are hoping to raise £100,000 in total. You can find out more on their website.

Rugby and Rowing are included in Exeter’s nine focus sports, and in the 2014/15 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) rankings the institution was ranked 1st for Rugby and 7th for Rowing overall. The University of Exeter Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping the best student athletes reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times / The Sunday Times Good Universities Guide 2016 Sports University of the Year, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The prestigious rankings, which mean Exeter retains its position as best in the South West, take into account a wide range of factors, including student satisfaction and research excellence. 

Date: 28 January 2016

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