Updated: Apr 5
Bernie Hollywood OBE Faced 20ft Waves, Capsize & Almost Missed The Finish Line On His 3,000-Mile Journey Across The Atlantic Ocean
Bernie Hollywood crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the World’s Toughest Row in 109 days, 14 hours and 16 minutes!
He launched from the volcanic shores of La Gomera in the Canary Islands on the 12th December 2022, and arrived to the historic Nelson’s Dockyard on the paradise island of Antigua in the West Indies on Saturday the 1st of April 2023 (Friday the 31st of March, local time).
Atlantic Campaigns shared the news of 'Bernie Hollywood OBE - City of Liverpool has crossed the finish line in a time of 109 days, 14 hours and 16 minutes! On Friday 31st March, at 22:56 local Antigua time, Bernie completed The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge - the World’s Toughest Row!'
After 109 days at sea rowing, completely alone on a very small boat in a very big ocean, Bernie has made it!
On Saturday the 1st of April, he rowed into English Harbor, Antigua in the cover of night and made his first steps back onto dry land.
The journey has been a relentless one, notwithstanding the very final leg of his journey where for a moment the conditions made it look as though he may not make his route to Antigua as he was swept further and further South.
A Herculean effort of resilience, grit and determination saw him finally reaching the end of his journey.
For Bernie, his charitable efforts are at the heart of this campaign. His crossing encapsulated his Boat of Hope message - to never give up. No matter what hardship came his way, from capsize to power loss to very difficult conditions, he continued to row.
Speaking on his journey, Bernie said: 'It’s been a very emotional journey across the Atlantic, lots of ups and downs. We must get people talking about what’s in their heads and in their hearts.'
Bernie added: 'I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign so far, it’s been a two-year campaign. I’d like to thank everyone for their support.'
This year 127 rowers from around the world competed in this extreme endurance challenge – The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. He was up against stiff competition with a staggering fleet of 43 international teams.
The event is part of a series, known as the ‘World’s Toughest Row’ challenges its competitors to 3,000-mile rowing race across Atlantic Ocean. Event organisers Atlantic Campaigns also organise a race across the Pacific Ocean.
Having spent more than 2 years preparing for the challenge, talking about it in his blog in September 2020. and simultaneously providing advice that people could take from this challege and apply it to life, from 'Get into a routine', to 'Surround yourself with loving caring people', as well as 'Ask for help when needed.'
During his crossing he has faced rolling waves of up to 20 meters, capsize, sea sickness and surviving on dehydrated food. He had to eat over 5,000 calories a day to replenish the energy spent on the oars!
Bernie Hollywood has raised an astounding €120,000 - a breathtaking amount of support for his two chosen charities The Samaritans and Love Rowing.
Below you can also explore a selection of photographs from his incredible journey.
The Liverpool City Region has taken a lot of inspiration from Bernie's amazing achievements, including a school that Bernie does a lot of work with, Hillside High School from Bootle, in the Liverpool Borough of Sefton, who also shared their praise of his achievements 'Absolutely brilliant! Bernie Hollywood you are amazing.'
You can support Bernie through donating to the Boat Of Hope campaign in support of improving mental health and reducing depression through creative arts and adventure.