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Three Texans Cross The Atlantic… in a Rowboat!

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They wanted a big challenge and they got it.  Three Texans decided to row 3200 miles across the Atlantic, and they were completely self-sufficient with food and other necessities along the way.  Would ya do this for seven weeks?

Mike Matson is a 32-year old Houston petroleum engineer who heard about the World’s Toughest Row and wanted to jump in and do it.  Some of us might hear about it and say “good luck with that,” as we sit on the couch watching Netflix and eating chips and dip, but Mike Matson and his friends have a little more determination than that.  Okay, a lot more.

Matson coaches the rowing team at Rice University along with 31-year old David Alviar. The two of them wanted to row across the Atlantic as a pair, but Matson had knee problems and they decided to bring in 28-year old Brian Krauskopf to back them up.  He’s a rowing instructor and former college offensive lineman at South Alabama.  Krauskopf can muscle his way through anything, but before this challenge he had never rowed before.

The Dallas News says the challenge started in the Canary Islands off the coast of North Africa and ends in the Caribbean islands. They had the boat custom-made in England for $68,000, but with solar panels and a water purifier that turned ocean water into drinkable water, then final cost was about $200,000.

They had to deal with freezing rain, wind, snapping pins on the boat, and sea sickness. Matson went through a spell where he threw up 10 times a day, but he kept rowing. They saw dolphins and sea turtles and made a friend in one sea bird that kept coming back to visit them.  They grew beards and got completely exhausted, but still managed to call their wives and kids during the trip.

And, Matson, Alviar, and Krauskopf became the first Texans to row across the Atlantic, and earned two Guinness World Records for being the first and fastest three-man crew to row the Atlantic.  Amazing.

Texans are awesome!  Determined, ambitious, and a little bit crazy at times, and that’s exactly why we love these stories.  Set a goal that seems unreachable, and then get so far into it you have to finish.  A rowing challenge might be out of reach for a lot of us, but at least we can start with cleaning out the garage.  Nice work guys.

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