Trans-Atlantic Record Smashed by the Rowing Marine

Lee Spencer, otherwise known as the ‘Rowing Marine’ has completed the fastest unsupported solo row across the Atlantic.

The Olympian-sponsored Royal Marine veteran smashed the able-bodied Atlantic record from mainland Europe to South America, by a staggering 36 days.

Lee was totally unsupported on the water and out of helicopter range for the majority of his journey. His incredible feat raised over £55,000 for The Royal Marines Charity and The Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick British service personnel.

He arrived in Cayenne, French Guiana, on Monday 11th March – having faced 40ft waves and a bout of gastroenteritis during the journey – while sleeping for just two hours at a time.

The married father of two said he was “exhausted” and looking forward to having a beer and relaxing.

A keen wildlife fan, he said he spotted sea turtles, sharks and dolphins out at sea, and he even had sperm whales swim under his boat, which he said was “amazing”.

But he said that the most difficult part was spending the journey alone – saying he had no one around to be able to talk to about how he was feeling.

Lee served in the Royal Marines for 24 years, completing three tours of Afghanistan and one of Iraq.

He lost his right leg when he stopped to help a motorist on the M3 in 2014.

He was hit by flying debris as he made his way to the stricken vehicle and his right leg was severed in the impact.

He also had to have his left leg reconstructed.

A year later, Lee rowed the Atlantic in a team of four injured veterans.

Reflecting on this latest two-month solo journey, he said “the thing that kept me going has been proving that no one should be defined by disability and no one should be defined by something they’re not good at”.