I was on the Fal last year and I saw a bear row past... In 1896, Richard Kyle Fox editor and publisher of the National Police Gazette set a challenge. A prize of $10,000 would be awarded to the first crew to successfully row across the atlantic from New York to Europe. Two Norwegian-born American friends, Frank Samuelsen and George Harbo, collected together their life savings and took up the challenge. With an 18ft clinker-built row boat, the only modification being rails to help right the boat should she capsize, the two friends set off from New York on 6th June. They rowed, and rowed and the rails saved their lives on at least one occasion. They finally reached Bishop Rock setting the record for rowing the Atlantic at 55 days.
Although Richard Kyle Fox came to Paris to bask in the glory he never made good on his promise of the reward money.
On their return journey to New York, their steamer ran into trouble and the Captain ordered all wooden objects be used to stoke the fire. Frank and George would have none of this and launched their row boat off the side and rowed the remainder of the journey back to New York.
In their lifetime they never received any fame or fortune, their only recognition was a gold medal each and 10 Krona from Swedish king Oscar II.
Although their record was finally broken in 2010 by the four man crew of Artemis Investments, Frank and George still hold the record for two people rowing across the atlantic.
This picture is dedicated to all unsung heroes that keep doing what they do.