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  • Writer's pictureSam Carter-knight

Welcome Home Mermaid Rowers




Isle of Wight played host to a triumphant return as transatlantic rowers Xavier Baker, Paul Berry, and Chris Mannion touched down after their remarkable 3,000-mile journey from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. The trio, now local heroes, arrived back on the island via an overnight flight to Gatwick Airport, followed by a Wightlink FastCat journey from Portsmouth to Ryde Pier.

Their awe-inspiring feat not only marked an incredible personal achievement but also served a greater purpose, raising an impressive £17,000 for ocean conservation charities. The island, known for its stunning landscapes and connection to the sea, welcomed back these adventurers with open arms.

The momentous return saw the rowers greeted by Wightlink Captain Mark O’Ferrall, who ushered them to the Bridge for their first glimpse of the Isle of Wight. This final leg of their journey, made possible by Wightlink's support as one of Mermaid Atlantic’s sponsors, symbolizes the community's collective pride and excitement in celebrating the accomplishments of these intrepid rowers.

Phil Delaney, Wightlink Commercial Director, expressed the company's joy at being part of this remarkable journey, stating, "As one of Mermaid Atlantic’s sponsors, we’ve been following their progress online and were delighted when the guys completed their epic challenge. It’s been wonderful to welcome them onboard for the final leg of their journey." The partnership between Wightlink and Mermaid Atlantic showcases the island's commitment to supporting extraordinary endeavors and promoting a sense of unity and pride among its residents.

The return of Xavier Baker, Paul Berry, and Chris Mannion not only reinforces the Isle of Wight's connection to the vast oceans but also serves as a testament to the spirit of adventure and environmental responsibility that resonates deeply within the community. As their incredible journey comes full circle, the island celebrates the achievements of these modern-day explorers and the valuable contributions they've made to ocean conservation.

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