February 1 2024  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Isle of Wight Distillery Co-founder completes ‘World’s Toughest Row’

By GTR Magazine Staff

Mission accomplished: The Mermaid Atlantic team members celebrate the end of their grueling, 3,000 nautical mile row across the Atlantic

Isle of Wight Distillery Co-founder Xavier Baker, along with his two team members, has completed the ‘World’s toughest Row’, a grueling, unsupported 3,000 nautical mile row across the Atlantic.

The rowers pushed themselves to their limits to raise money and awareness of ocean pollution, with money raised through their efforts going to three local charities: Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust, Surfers for Sewage and The Seahorse Trust.

The Isle of Wight Distillery, and its Mermaid Gin, are recent additions to the Duty Free Global portfolio in travel retail.

Baker, and team members Chris Manon and Paul Berry, set off from La Gomera, Canary Islands on December 13, along with 37 other boats They crossed the finish line at English Harbour, Antigua, on January 25 having been at sea for 43 days, 17 hours and 58 minutes. Their Rannoch 45 rowing boat is named Mermaid Atlantic after Mermaid Gin, which was the main sponsor.

“We have been pushed to the limits both physically and mentally but words cannot express how happy we all feel having completed the race and battled the mighty ocean,” Baker said.

“It was relentless, but to know we had the support of friends, family and sponsors helped to maintain spirits and morale. We have been overwhelmed by the financial support from everyone and to exceed our fundraising target is just fantastic. The money raised will go to three amazing charities and help to protect and preserve the seas and wildlife around our UK shores, which is something that the three of us feel passionate about.”

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