First row across the Drake Passage
Who
Fiann Paul, Colin O'Brady, Andrew Towne, Cameron Bellamy, Jamie Douglas-Hamilton, John Petersen
What
- first
Where
Chile ()
When

The first row across Drake Passage between Chile and Antarctica was completed at 13:45 UTC on 25 December 2019 by captain Fiann Paul (Iceland), first mate Colin Timothy O’Brady (USA), Andrew Towne (USA), Cameron Bellamy (South Africa), Jamie Douglas-Hamilton (UK) and John Petersen (USA). "The Impossible Row" team started their journey from Cape Horn in Chile at 12:00 UTC on 13 December 2019 and finished at Charles Point on the mainland of the Antarctic peninsula after a time of 12 days 1 hour 45 minutes. The record was ratified by the Ocean Rowing Society.


This human-powered achievement - which, according to the official GPS tracker, covered a total distance of 655.2 nautical miles (1,213.4 km; 754 miles) - represents the first crossing of Drake Passage, the first row on the Southern Ocean, the first row to the Antarctic continent, the southernmost start of a rowing expedition, and the southernmost latitude reached by a rowing vessel. On embarking, skipper Fiann Paul (b. 15 August 1980) became the oldest person to row on the Southern Ocean, at the age of 39 years 120 days old, and best mate Colin O'Brady (b. 16 March 1985) became the youngest person to row on the Southern Ocean, aged 34 years 272 days. It was O'Brady's first ever ocean row.

The team rowed in threes, working in 90-minute shifts 24 hours a day. The best day of rowing saw them cover 76.5 nautical miles (141.6 km; 88 miles). The anchor was dropped five times during the journey because of rough waters.

According to Ernest Shackleton's biographer Alfred Lansing, “Drake Passage is the most dreaded bit of ocean on the globe.”