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08th Oct 2020

WATCH: Two Irish men to take on monstrous challenge of rowing from New York to Galway  

Sarah Finnan


The two Irish men have set themselves the seemingly impossible challenge of rowing 5,000km across the Atlantic from NYC to Galway.

Former professional rugby player Damian Browne has teamed up with his lifelong friend Fergus Farrell, setting themselves the fairly grueling challenge of rowing across the Atlantic.

Already having completed the trip once himself, once apparently isn’t enough for Browne who endeavors to become one of the very few people to have made the journey in both directions.

Aiming to set a new Guinness World Record, the duo will embark on an unsupported 4,937km trans-Atlantic row in two year’s time – setting off from the big Apple with the next time they set foot on solid ground being in their hometown of Galway in the west of Ireland.

Part of Project Empower, the project was born out of Browne’s ambition to row across the Atlantic and Farrell’s  determination to prove that surviving a life threatening injury does not mean that life can no longer be lived.

Temporarily paralysed after a workplace accident two years ago, Farrell was only given a 5 per cent chance of ever walking again. One year later he completed a 206km charity walk across Ireland.

Speaking of the project, the duo said:

“We hope to give future generations of Ireland and the World, a real image and touchable action to emulate and inspire them to dream big in whatever avenue of life they pursue.”

Below is a video about how the project came about.

View this post on Instagram

In May 2022, in the shadows of One World Trade Centre, Lower Manhattan, @auld_stock & @farrell_fergus will push a 7m Ocean Rowing boat away from the dock and row out into The Hudson River. The next time their feet touch land will be 4937kms away, when they arrive in their hometown Galway, Ireland. In the process and unsupported, they will endure and cross, by manpower alone, one of the most unforgiving and ferocious pieces of water on the planet, The North Atlantic Ocean. Project Empower is founded on dreams, legacy, purpose and the belief that we can all achieve extraordinary things if we commit and do the work. The project mission is to empower us all to find our true potential through the execution of planned ambitious endeavour. We hope to give future generations of Ireland and the World, a real image and touchable action to emulate and inspire them to dream big in whatever avenue of life they pursue. We can’t do this without you. We need your help! @auld_stock and @farrell_fergus will not get very far without a boat and today we are launching our crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to build this specialised craft. One that will keep us safe on one of the World’s most unforgiving oceans. If you believe in us, our project, it’s mission and if you see how it can make a small positive difference in the World, please support us by purchasing one of our 9 perks, loaded with exclusive access and associations to this extraordinary adventure. If you want to support, click the link in this pages bio and purchase a Project EMPOWER perk and Join the Project EMPOWER crew now! We need you! Massive thanks to @lorcanhynes1 and his amazing, super talented team for producing this very special short film. Please share our story. #projectempower #oceanrowing #adventure #challenge #inspire #legacy

A post shared by Project EMPOWER (@projectempower2022) on

Launching a crowdfunding campaign to help them raise funds to build a specialised boat, you can find out more info on how to support them here.

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