Former Peebles pupil Taylor rows into the record books in gruelling Atlantic effort

A former Peebles High School pupil who spent Christmas and New Year in the middle of the Atlantic has smashed a Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing by a trio of rowers.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 24th January 2022, 2:31 pm

Along with teammates Tom Rose and James Woolley, they set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12, and crossed the finish line at Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua 40 days and 37 minutes later on Friday, January 21.

Company director Taylor told us: “Our team became the fastest mixed trio to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean and in doing so, got a new World Record.

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Taylor Winyard, right, celebrates Atlantic Nomads' world record row with crewmates Tom Rose and James Woolley.

"We were the first mixed boat across the line and I was the first woman to finish in this year's race.

“It was an incredible atmosphere coming into Nelson's Dockyard.”

Their feat is all the more fantastic, given that they were supposed to be a crew of four, and their fourth member, fellow Scot Euan Fraser, pulled out with only two weeks to go.

Taylor said: “That brought challenges in itself, adapting to how the crossing would work as a trio.

Taylor, right, with crew members Tom and James.

"Instead of the typical two hours on, two hours off shift pattern that a four-person team would do, we decided to do two hours on, one hour off as a trio.

"That was a gruelling and savage shift pattern to follow for 40 days.

“The constant battle of sleep deprivation was the hardest part.”

There was one moment, however, when the crew took a little bit of time to fully appreciate where they were and what they were taking on.

Taylor said: “We had been rowing so hard one night, we realised we hadn't properly taken in the surroundings.

"We stopped for five minutes and looked up at the cloudless sky, full of stars … no photo could ever do it justice.”

The finish was special for Taylor.

She said: “It was so emotional!

"We could hear the cheers and knew our families and friends were all there.

“My dad also surprised me, as he wasn't meant to be coming out to Antigua.

"We could see the British flags and I could hear the sound of bagpipes … it was so special.

"Crossing the line was such a relief. It was surreal seeing land again and we were just so delighted to have made it across safely. The world record was the icing on the cake.”

Taylor, who said this week she was “very sore”, is spending another week in Antigua to rest before heading home … but thankfully, she won’t be rowing this time.

The team raised funds for Alabaré’s Homes for Veterans a charity that provides supported accommodation to British Armed Forces veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.