News & Events News Bristol Rowers Break World Record Crossing the Atlantic A BRISTOL man and his younger brother have become the youngest pair ever to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Jay and Kiran Olenicz, aged 22 and 19 respectively, took 48 days to complete the epic journey finally crossing the finishing line last week. During the gruelling ordeal the brothers were subjected to 30-foot waves, being tossed overboard, hallucinations, sleeping for no more than two hours at a time and complete power failure for their support equipment. Connected to the outside world by a single satellite phone Jay and his brother made the journey without seeing a single other craft. At times Jay admitted that he thought that they had possibly bitten off more than they could chew. He said: “It was an incredibly tough challenge but I’m so proud to say that we did it. “On only the second day we hit a Force Seven storm and we were tossed around like a cork on the waves – that was pretty scary stuff. “Coping with the lack of sleep was also very challenging at the start and definitely pushed our minds and bodies to the limit. “There were amazing highlights though too, including seeing blue whales, dolphins and the incredible night skies.” Jay and Kiran undertook the “Oarsome Odyssey” to raise money for Bristol dementia research charity BRACE after their own grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Jay added: “Sadly it’s too late for our Gran but we wanted to do something that would give future generations a better outlook – and the way to do that is to fund research.” So far the intrepid brothers have raised more than £5,000 for BRACE. BRACE Chief Executive Mark Poarch saluted Jay and Kiran for their spectacular achievement. Mark said: “This really takes fundraising to a whole new level! “To be the new world record holders for rowing The Atlantic is such an astonishing achievement and the money they have raised will be vital in our continued efforts to fund vital dementia research. “A huge congratulations to Jay and Kiran – I hope they enjoy a well-deserved rest now!” To sponsor Jay and Kiran please go to their fundraising page. Money raised will also be going to Julia’s House, a Dorset hospice for young children.