PRESS RELEASE July 12 2013



Two west country men who have spent the last 26 days rowing 2,000 miles non-stop around Britain set a new world record when they reached Tower Bridge today(Friday).

Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr, from Salcombe, Devon knocked 11 days off the existing world record when they came home after 41days 4hours and 38minutes at sea in a rowing boat no bigger than a family saloon.

On June 1, six boats set off from Tower Bridge to race around Britain’s mainland.

By the end of the first week, when the race reached Land’s End, four crews had abandoned the race, mainly due to mechanical problems caused by rough seas.

The only two boats left racing were a four-man team, the Islanders, as well as Jason and Josh, who are known as Team Savoir Faire.

The four-man crew finished two weeks ago, setting a new world record of 26 days for the epic 2,000-mile non-stop race, the world’s toughest rowing race.

Despite having just two rowers, Jason and Josh have managed to complete the epic journey in under six weeks, living in a boat no bigger than a family saloon.

They braved storms and huge waves in the Irish Sea and were pinned down by bad weather for several days in the north of Scotland.

When they returned to Tower Bridge after nearly six weeks at sea, the two-man crew were met by family and well wishers at the Royal Naval Reserve base, HMS President.

Chris Usborne, race director of GBRow 2013, said: “After battling challenging weather and tidal conditions, Savoir Faire are enjoying excellent weather on their final lap of GBRow 2013. In a measured and very professional row, they have smashed the current world record by 20per cent to become new World Record holders and finish the toughest rowing race in the world.”

Will de Laszlo, race President and skipper of the crew that set the previous world record in 2005 said: “It was an epic effort. Massive congratulations to the record-breaking team. I’m incredibly proud to be involved in an event that hopefully will inspire other people achieve great things.”

For interviews with Jason McKinlay and Josh Tarr or race organisers or for more details contact:

Mike Ridley at GB Row 2013

(m) 07836 376 943   T 01474 85 45 45


Royalty free photos available on

Note to Editors

In 2010, Army doctors Nick Dennison and Hamish Reid rowed around UK in 51 days but they started and finished at Lymington, Hants and did not go up and down the River Thames, which adds another two days to journey.



Age: 42   Life coach and gym owner 

From: Now lives in Salcombe, Devon with wife Sarah and their children Oliver, 3, and baby Emilia Rose, born in February. Originally from Cheshire.


ProfileJason is an adventurer who has rowed the Atlantic. He has run no fewer than 55 marathons, including a marathon on Everest and the gruelling Marathon of the Sands in the Sahara desert. After rowing around Britain, he hopes to complete the Bob Graham round, covering 42peaks in the Lake District in 24 hours.

 Jason is convinced that a pair of rowers is the way to beat the record because of the crew dynamics.


Height:  6ft 3ins      94kilos



Age: 27

From: Churchstow, near Salcombe, Devon. Works as a sound recordist and lives with partner Helen.

Profile: Growing up near Salcombe, Josh Tarr is an avid surfer and accomplished sailor. He has also tried his hand at lots outdoor pursuits like kayaking and mountaineering. Last year he cycled alone and unassisted from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise money for charity.

Height  6ft          Weight 14stone.



‘Why is this race the ‘toughest rowing race in the world?’

Totally unaided, crews in GBRow 2013  tackled the most dangerous & fast turning tides on the planet; cross the world’s busiest shipping lanes, have to avoid heavy shipping including car ferries, industrial fishing trawlers & private yachts on autopilot and navigate live firing ranges at Lydd, Wembury & Aberporth. Just being close to & in sight of land for almost the entire duration makes it easy to quit. They will also cover a distance of over 2000 miles in the very unpredictable Great British weather. Put all these together, and GBRow 2013 is tougher than any other rowing race anywhere in the world.

 ‘What is meant by non-stop and unassisted?’

The crews not allowed tie up into any port during their 2000-mile journey. They must carry all their own food and water. Each boat has a machine onboard to turn seawater into fresh for drinking. They are allowed to anchor at sea if the tide is too strong.

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