The first nominee for Blarney & District Person of the Year 2018 is 25 year old Sean Underwood. After an incredible 32 days, 22 hours and four minutes on the water, Sean Underwood (25) from Tower, along with Eoin O’Farrell (26) from Ballinlough, Patrick O‘Connor (27) from Castletownroche and Thomas Browne (28) from Dublin, arrived in Antigua on January 16th having rowed across the Atlantic to raise awareness and money for the CUH Children’s Unit. The boys, knowns as ‘The Relentless Rowers’ set out from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 14th and arrived in Antigua a little more than a month later, reaching the harbour at 5.30am local time, while a crowd of waiting supporters played Ireland’s Call. It was a journey of 5000 kilometres and the men not only battled the adverse weather, but also physical exhaustion and loneliness along the way. Interviewed by The Evening Echo on their arrival the boys said. “We are a bit wobbly now, we still have our sea legs but it was an absolutely amazing adventure,” Eoin said. Sean said they were adjusting to be back on dry land, “It feels a bit surreal at the moment, it’s been so long coming. “To actually arrive now on solid ground – it doesn’t feel so solid, we’re kind of swaying around the place – it feels great to be here, absolutely amazing.” “The first week was extremely rough, we had sea sickness and we broke an oar,” Eoin said. “There was a storm for the first week as well, but we were kind of unaware it was a storm and kept ploughing through it.” Christmas was obviously one of the toughest times for the four young men with Thomas telling The Echo, “Christmas was rough. When you think about it, of the last 10 Christmases this is the one we will remember, even it is by far the hardest Christmas we have had.” Although none of them sore suffered major injury, their bodies were battered in the crossing. “We all took a fair beating, we all have lots of cuts and bruises – on knees and feet,” Eoin said. “But no major issues, bar very sore bums from sitting on the seats!” The concluded by saying that “We’re still friends and that is the main thing at the end of the day!” As we went to press, the four rowers had raised nearly €30,000 for their charity, the CUH Children’s Unit, which will go towards helping to equip the new unit with state-of-the-art equipment, purchase high-flow oxygen for respiratory conditions and provide resources to look after children’s educational needs during hospital stays.