Guinness World Record For First To Row The Length Of The Amazon River

by Captain Bill

Guest post by Mike Collis and David Crazy Rainbow

Guinness World Record for being the First To Row The Length Of The Amazon River

"Guinness World Record for being the first to have rowed the Amazon River"

Lord Antony Wright and Dr. Mark de Rond receive The Guinness World Record for being the first to have rowed the length of the Amazon River

Two intrepid Cambridge University rowers set off on the 13th of September hoping to be the first to row the mighty Amazon from Nauta to the Atlantic Ocean.

One rower was Lord Antony Wright who is no stranger to the Amazon; he and his crew represented a Cambridge University team that competed in the 2012 Great River Amazon Raft Race.  I remember last year after that race, Anton pointed up at a rowing boat hanging from the ceiling in the Hunting and Fishing Club where the raft race finished and said “I’m going to come back next year and row it all!” Anton made the attempt with Dr. Mark de Rond, a Reader in Strategy and Organization at Cambridge Judge Business School in England. Anton Wright is the Chief Rowing Coach at Clare College University, Cambridge.

The pair originally planned to complete the approximate 2,550 miles in 6 weeks but because the boat was delayed in reaching Nauta by 2 weeks, they recruited Brazilian, Murilo Reis to provide extra rowing power and hoping to reach the Brazilian coast in mid-October thereby saving the 13 lost days.

"Heart of the Warrior Amazon River"

Mark de Rond and Anton Wright, in their boat built to row the Amazon River named, Heart of the Warrior

Their bright yellow, purpose-built boat named “Heart of the Warrior” was constructed in England and was shipped here by container for the epic voyage. They did not have any support team with them and they spent most of the time on board the 23 foot vessel which has a tiny cabin in which the 3 man crew took turns to sleep. Each rower used 2 oars and they rowed in pairs with the other rower taking  rest. They rowed night and day non-stop reaching the Brazilian frontier in 8 days. Thanks to Murilo, an ex special forces soldier, they had no problems crossing the border and continuing to Manaus. This took another 9 days of rowing non-stop. Once in Manaus it was agreed that Murilo would leave the expedition and would return to Peru have helped his team mates make up the lost 13 days.

From now on Lord Anton and Dr Mark would continue alone. The journey from Manaus through Santarem went without problems but the widening river with its huge waves held them up from there on. Onwards they rowed and then they could smell the salt but the incoming tide only pushed them back inland. They waited patiently for the tide to turn but then found themselves high and dry on a sand bank. They called out to some passing fishermen who towed them to deeper water. On they went until at last they were at the Atlantic Ocean. They were now the first ever to row the entire Amazon River from the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon rivers. They completed this journey in 30 days and 16 hours, a time which will be very difficult to beat.

As part of their effort they raised money by sponsorship for Leonard Cheshire Disability, a charity supporting disabled people in the UK and over 50 countries worldwide. They will also be designing an educational package for Cambridge-based primary schools in order for them to learn about the Amazon. Well done boys! You’ve done us all proud! Brilliant!

"Mark de Rond and Anton Wright in the Heart of a Warrior"

Mark de Rond and Anton Wright in the Heart of a Warrior, raised money for charity by rowing the length of the Amazon River

Guinness World Record for being the First To Row The Length Of The Amazon River

Guest Post by Mike Collis and David Crazy Rainbow of Iquitos Times fame.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leo Jones December 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

Congrats. I really enjoyed this article.

2 West Hansen November 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Just ran across this post and claim of “first”. Please help me understand this event a bit. The Amazon River is over 4100 miles long from it’s source to sea. All of which is navigable. How is rowing about half that distance considered “the length” of the Amazon River. Perhaps it’s more accurately “a length” of the Amazon. Even the “rowing” is much shorter than those who have rowed a greater distance of the Amazon. All of which is much shorter and slower than others who have paddled the actual entire length of the Amazon River. What’s up with all this? –West Hansen

3 West Hansen November 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Did some more reading. What record was “smashed”? How did you determine that Macapa was the end of the Amazon River? How did you determine that no one else had completed that distance unsupported?(read: Alan Holman, Mike Horn, Amazon Express, et al).

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