London cab drivers Daren Parr 56, Bob Barber 56 and Stuart Lockhart 50 swapped their iconic black taxis for a Scud ocean rowing boat and set off from Lanzarote on 3 January 2023 to row the 3,200 miles across the Atlantic to Antigua. Sixty days later, they arrived to a rapturous welcome as they rowed into Jolly Harbour in Antigua accompanied by a flotilla of small boats.
Having raised over £13,000 for the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, The Stroke Association and a Tanzanian orphanage, the three cabbies are back on terra firma, having lost a combined total of 76 pounds in weight!
Daren Parr said of the fundraising challenge: “Nothing could prepare us for this! It was an experience that is very hard to put into words. We are just three ordinary guys doing an extraordinary thing and this challenge demonstrates what can be achieved with determined spirit and mental fortitude. We likened the experience to doing The Knowledge – it was very tough but is worth doing. It doesn’t discriminate between anyone and no one ever fails - you either complete it or you give up.
“We were rowing for an hour with two hours off 24/7 for 60 days and the weather was awful. At one stage we were on a para anchor for three days just waiting for which of the waves (some the size of London town houses) would capsize us. The constant movement makes even the smallest task difficult. After our friends and family, the main thing we missed was not moving!
“We were totally overwhelmed by the welcome we received in Antigua from 150 people who were in small boats and on the quay side to wave us home. People asked how long it took to get my land legs back. Let me tell you - when I got off the boat, it felt like I’d drunk 20 pints on an empty stomach. I was staggering all over the place and wasn't able to stand up. Fortunately someone handed me a chair! This has been one hell of an adventure and we hope that we may still get some more donations to support our three special charities.
“We are constantly asked what is next? We have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru back to back. Now we have joined the small group of people who have rowed the Atlantic, so we will be taking a year off before we announce our next fundraising challenge. And you can guarantee it will push us to our limits again.”
The three cab drivers still have one huge challenge left: to get the boat back home. Disappointingly one of their sponsors has not delivered the promised amount which has left them needing financial help to get the boat back to the UK.
To donate towards the three charities that the row supported, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sarah-barber-124
And to help the cabbies get the boat back, please visit www.gofundme.com/f/cabbiesdoatlanticrow
About Cabbies Do Atlantic Row
London cab drivers Daren Parr 55, Bob Barber 56 and Stuart Lockhart 50 have successfully rowed across the Atlantic from Lanzarote to Antigua. As ‘Cabbies Do Kilimanjaro’, they raised £18,000 for the Taxi Charity when they climbed Kilimanjaro in 2019, and in February 2022 they climbed Kilimanjaro and Meru and raised £8,000 for the London Taxi Drivers’ Charity for Children and £2,000 for the Huruma Orphanage in Tanzania.
Money raised from the challenge to row the Atlantic will be split between the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, the Stroke Association and a Tanzanian Orphanage near Arusha.
The ‘Cabbies Do Atlantic Row’ team is supported by Avon Marina who provided a Scud Ocean Rowing Craft, and Monkey Fist Adventures who gave advice about the challenge. They have been sponsored by many businesses, including their largest supporter, the Millcroft Group.