People of Galway


Two Galway men are planning to row across the Atlantic Ocean unsupported in 2022, studying human empowerment as they go and attempting to set a world record

One of the World’s foremost extreme adventurers, and former professional rugby player Damian Browne (Renmore), has teamed up with lifelong friend Fergus Farrell (Athenry) to embark on a journey that will take them across the Atlantic in 2022. This unsupported row will see them tackle 4,937 km across some of the wildest, most unforgiving ocean on the planet.


Project Empower was officially launched on Tuesday the 29th of September in Galway. The two men rowed a traditional Currach from Inis Oirr to Galway City to mark the occasion and launching a crowdfunding campaign for the 24-month studied endeavour in human empowerment. Project Empower is Learning Through Doing, Doing Through Living and Living Through Sharing.

This traditional voyage symbolises what will be the last, triumphant leg of their Atlantic crossing in 2022, while promoting and respecting the seafaring heritage of Irish coastal communities.

Damian and Fergus’ ambition is to set a new Guinness World Record upon rowing into their hometown of Galway, and leave a lasting legacy that will be felt, not only on the streets they grew up on, but around the country of Ireland and in every corner of the globe they reach.

Galway Bay


Damian and Fergus’ ocean rowing boat will be built by master boat builder Justin Adkin of Seasabre. Justin and Damian already have history, with Justin building Damian’s boat Darien for his 2017 solo trans-Atlantic row. All Seasabre boats are designed and built alongside the expertise and experience of renowned ocean rowing boat designer, Phil Morrison. Project Empower have commissioned Justin to build a bespoke ORB design, which will proudly be a classic design shape, sticking closely to traditional values of ocean rowing.

Mr George Harboe and Frank Samuelsen were the first people to row successfully across the Atlantic from New York to The Scilly Isles in 1896, in an incredible 55 days and 13 hours. Astonishingly, their record still stands 124 years later after 11 pairs have attempted to better it, but failed. In fact, only 6 of those 11 boats completed their crossings.

Galway Rowers

In total there have been 52 previous attempted crossings by way of unsupported row, with 18 successfully making land in some part of Europe, showing the immense difficulty of the undertaking. With respect and admiration for all those who have gone before them, especially the historic oceanrow of Harboe and Samuelsen, where they had no water makers, phones, GPS, EPIRBs or even a lift raft on board.

Project Empower Crowdfunding Options opened on October 6th and you can be a part of the journey by becoming a backer. Just click HERE. To find out more or to be a supporter of Project Empower check out and follow the journey across social platforms on Facebook and Instagram

Photography by Emilija Jefremova