Shropshire Star

Couple complete World's Toughest Row with their children at the finish to greet them

Husband and wife Dani and Mark Jones rowed into Antigua to finish the World's Toughest Row in 73 days and into the arms of their children and parents.

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Team For Better Oar Worse arrive in Antigua

The couple were inspired to take part in the race across the Atlantic by Dani's dad, Ian Davies from Oswestry after he took part in the race from La Gomera to Antigua four years ago.

Ian rowed once again this year with team mate Jim Ronaldson and, having finished before his daughter, was on the dockyard to welcome them at the finish line.

Dani and Mark, who live in France, posed for photos on their boat as team For Better Oar Worse but as soon as they climbed out ran straight to their eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son as well as their parents and Mark's grandad.

Team For Better Oar Worse arrive in Antigua

"It was amazing to be reunited with my babies, a relief to be on land and to know that I had crossed the Atlantic with my best friend, my husband, my life partner. I couldn't think of anyone better I could do it with," Dani said.

Mark said the couple had been inspired by Dani's dad and their children.

"It is absolutely fantastic to have crossed the Atlantic with my wife. We didn't fall out once - although we might have had words - and we kept very much together on board, we were a team.

"We wanted to show our children that if you put the hard work in, the effort and the time, you can do anything in life. If we have inspired them to do that throughout their lives then we have done a good job."

Team For Better Oar Worse arrive in Antigua

During their 73 days, 12 hours and three minutes on the Atlantic Dani and Mark had to deal with every possible condition capsizing but thankfully righting again without injury.

"The weather was so hard, the swells we had to navigate were something that you see on Hollywood movies," Dani said.

However they said the good times completely outweighed the bad, particularly the wildlife.

They were stalked by a shark, saw a marlin and the highlights, a blue whale and a pod of orcas.

Mark said the challenge had shown them that there was no point in stressing over trivial things.

"Life is for having fun and having adventures," he said.