Friends row across nation

Mad4Waves members celebrating in Antigua, Cole Barnard, Grant Soll, Matthew Boynton and Lee Gordon.

A group of friends became the only all-South African team to row a four-seater boat across the Atlantic when they completed the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge arriving in Antigua on Sunday January 20 in a time of 39 days 8 hours and 43 minutes.

Lee Gordon from Constantia, Matthew Boynton from Clifton, Cole Barnard from Pinelands and Grant Soll from Llandudno who make up Mad4Waves have become the youngest people to have completed the toughest row challenge for about 5 000km across the Atlantic Ocean from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Island, unaided and in the name of charity (“Students tackle tough waters”, Bulletin, November 22 2018).

Mad4Waves is raising money for education for recycled plastic school desks by raising funds to provide desks for 1 000 pupils across South Africa.

Each donation to their campaign will provide two pupils with a shared desk.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the world’s number one ocean endurance race and is widely considered to be one of the hardest challenges on the planet: racing across the Atlantic in nothing but a rowing boat.

To assist the Mad4Waves crew in their donation drive to donate desks, visit their crowdfunding campaign on