The Seablings: Gloucestershire two become first siblings to row the Atlantic

PUBLISHED: 10:46 16 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:46 16 June 2020

Gloucestershire brother and sister Anna and Cameron McLean, known as The Seablings, make history as the world’s first ever brother and sister team to row any ocean (photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Ben Duffy)

Gloucestershire brother and sister Anna and Cameron McLean, known as The Seablings, make history as the world’s first ever brother and sister team to row any ocean (photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Ben Duffy)

Atlantic Campaigns/Ben Duffy

From dealing with extreme fatigue, dehydration and constant nausea, to tackling storms and being stalked by a shark, a brother-and-sister team from Gloucestershire took on the ultimate challenge to become the first sibling team to row an ocean

The tiny village of Icomb, near Stow-on-the-Wold will have to update its Wiki page. Currently, its claims to fame involve medieval carvings in the church, and a notorious association with a family of highwaymen.

Now, it also boasts a world record. Icomb brother-and-sister team Anna and Cameron McLean are home after a 43-day, 15-hour and 22-minute row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. And as well as becoming the first sibling team (earning them the nickname The Seablings) to row any ocean, they are on target to raise £100,000 for UN Women, the gender equality arm of the United Nations.

Gloucestershire brother and sister Anna and Cameron McLean, known as The Seablings, make history as the world’s first ever brother and sister team to row any ocean (photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Ben Duffy)Gloucestershire brother and sister Anna and Cameron McLean, known as The Seablings, make history as the world’s first ever brother and sister team to row any ocean (photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Ben Duffy)

Setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands – as part of the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge - they overcame seasickness, storms, dehydration, extreme fatigue and technical difficulties (even being stalked by a shark) to reach Antigua on January 25: the fastest mixed pair ever to cross the Atlantic.

For Anna, the biggest challenge was constant nausea. “As soon as I shopped rowing, I was being sick. This meant I had to sleep on deck through the freezing nights as the claustrophobic cabin sloshing around in the waves made the sickness even worse.”

Anna, aboard the 24-foot rowing boat (photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Lars Kristiansen)Anna, aboard the 24-foot rowing boat (photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Lars Kristiansen)

The whole rowing boat was only 24-ft – luckily, she and Cameron are also best of friends. “Some of the highlights of the trip were when we were rowing together, laughing, singing at the top of our lungs and embracing being at one with nature.”

Both are committed to the cause of gender equality. Or, as Cameron put it, “This is a moment for all families, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons and all brothers and sisters as we have just proven that the seemingly impossible can be achieved when men and women come together as equal parts.”

(Photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Lars Kristiansen)(Photo: Atlantic Campaigns/Lars Kristiansen)

The pair celebrated in the most glamorous of fashions: hot showers and a breakfast of scrambled eggs: “Beats freeze-dried spaghetti carbonara!”

You can find out what’s next for the siblings at theseablings.com

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