The World's Toughest Row

Imagine spending 37 days, 24 hours a day, rowing 5,000km across the Atlantic Ocean with four mates… When you are not ‘resting’ for 2hrs in a tiny cabin, the only thing you see for miles is open water… sounds crazy? Impossible? 

Not for Louis Hugh-Jones, Mosman Prep Old Boy (Alumni 2008), who has recently returned from competing in the world’s toughest rowing challenge, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

An extreme endurance race, Louis and his teammates faced sleep deprivation, hunger, physical and mental challenges to complete the course from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain to Antigua & Barbuda (the Caribbean) and raise money for their chosen charity, Gotcha4Life.      

Louis’ love of rowing started soon after he left Mosman Prep to attend Saint Ignatius' College Riverview in Year 7. His focus and dedication saw him travel to the UK to row for one of the oldest and most prestigious rowing clubs, Leander. Louis then won a rowing scholarship to study at University of California, Berkeley.

The idea to compete in the Atlantic Challenge was a ‘crazy pub idea’ between Louis and his three best mates, Sam Horsley, James Samuels, and Rob Wells. The boys have been friends since high school and while Louis went to a rival high school and competed against the others, their friendship has stood the test of time and now, the test of an endurance race. Louis says, their primary goal (other than surviving!), was to still be friends at the end of the race. 

Amongst the wild weather, big swell, sea sickness, shark sightings, bruising from being thrown off seats and low wind days were sightings of whales, turtles, rowing through bioluminescence and beautiful clear night skies with an abundance of shooting stars.

While it has been a number of years since Louis was at Mosman Prep, he remains friends with many of his primary school cohort. He contributes his ability to take advantage of opportunities presented to him and his willingness to give things a go to the solid foundations he was given at Prep. We are incredibly proud of Louis and look forward to hearing about his next adventure.  

To see videos, photos and updates from their trip across the Atlantic, check out their Instagram posts @shawandpartners_atlantic.

Photo: AtlanticCampaigns_PennyBird