AN EPIC row round Britain finished in Cowes today.

The four rowers, Ready Salt Row, whose specially designed boat Emma circled Britain to raise funds for the RNLI, returned to Cowes, where the ambitious challenge began 43 days and four hours before.

Escorting the boat into Cowes Harbour was the local lifeboat, plus wellwishers.

As the boat was moored alongside Trinity Landing, the two male and two female rowers were given a rousing Champagne dousing.

There was also a chance for Cowes lifeboat members to present a cheque, intended to show that the circumnavigation had raised £8,775 — although the rowers believe the final figure will be nearer £10,000.

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Above, cheque photo by Nick Edwards.

The boat set out from Cowes with a six-strong international crew, but two had to leave the challenge, which was to row unassisted non stop around mainland Great Britain, aiming to achieve the world record for the first mixed team to do so.

The whole circumnavigation of nearly 2,000 miles was done by superyacht captain Andy Burns, formerly from Cowes, Simone Talfauld, freelance film marketeer, from Colchester, James Scott, an electrician and a member of Plymouth RNLI lifeboat, and Mia Showell-Woodsmith, a lawyer in the City, who is from Australia.

A fifth rower, Liz Grant, a New Zealander who lives in Southampton and is a chief officer with Red Funnel Steamers, had to leave the boat at Aberdeen for medical reasons, but she was at Cowes to welcome the team.

The sixth rower, Roy Hubbard, an American, had to leave the boat at Skegness because of a family emergency.

At various points in the circumnavigation they were delighted to be joined for a while by an RNLI lifeboat from a local station.

The rowing boat was loaned for the event by Tom and Charlie Salt, and sponsorship came from Aquanobel, a Swedish water company.

Isle of Wight County Press: