Broar brothers all in the same boat with charity fundraiser

Three brothers who are rowing across the ­Atlantic will celebrate Hogmanay with a dram of whisky and skirling bagpipes on the ocean waves.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 6:42 am

The MacLean siblings are now more than halfway through their 3,000-mile journey after setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12.

The team, named Broar, are expected to arrive in Antigua in the Caribbean before the end of January and hope to raise more than £250,000 for charities Feedback Madagascar and Children First.

The brothers hope to become the fastest trio in history to row the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

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Lachlan MacLean, 21, Jamie, 26, and Ewan, 27, from Edinburgh, will take a break from the oars to enjoy a dram of a special blend created by their father, whisky expert Charles MacLean, and Jamie will break out the bagpipes on Hogmanay.

Ewan, a product design engineer for Dyson, said: “Spirits are high but the toughest thing now is trying to keep morale up.

“We’re suffering on the oars for 16 hours a day, with very little sleep. We’ve faced dehydration, power issues and some horrendous weather, but it’s little things like a wee dram at New Year and taking a moment to play music together that keep us going.

“We have learned a lot about ourselves and each other, mostly the need to be stronger than our excuses.”

The brothers face tough conditions in the Atlantic, with waves of up to 40ft and a gruelling schedule, ­rowing for two hours alternating with one hour of rest on their voyage.

The trio took some time out from rowing to enjoy a can of Tennent’s on Christmas Day and are looking ­forward to a dram at New Year.

As part of their training, Broar ­visited distilleries on the west coast of Scotland.

Their father has used bottles donated by the distilleries, along with 100 litres of grain whisky, to create a special blend, bottles of which will be sold to raise money for the ­charities, while a taster has gone with the ­siblings on their voyage.

Charles said: “They have had their ups and downs but morale has remained high. They are in good shape, both physically and mentally.

“I am terribly proud of them, it is such an endeavour.

“My wife and I were extremely nervous, it’s like having all your eggs in one basket, and the Atlantic can be merciless.

“But their training and fitness and the safety regulations the organisers insist upon are so thorough that if they are sensible, not a lot can go wrong.”

Donations to the brothers’ causes can be made through the team’s ­website, www.broar.co.uk