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Guinness World Record honour for University of Bristol rower

Jamie Sparks, Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday and Luke Birch

Press release issued: 17 March 2014

Two students have rowed into the record books after becoming the youngest pair to row the Atlantic.

Jamie Sparks, a third year anthropology student, and his childhood friend Luke Birch, an Edinburgh University student, have been presented the ‘Youngest Row Across Any Ocean (Tandem)’ title by Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday.

Jamie, 22, and Luke, 21, broke the world record while taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – one of the toughest races on earth.  They rowed 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean in 54 days.

The presentation took place at Kensington Roof Gardens in London on Wednesday 12 March, where Jamie and Luke were celebrating raising over £310,000 for Breast Cancer Care.

The pair decided to fundraise for Breast Cancer Care after Luke’s mother was diagnosed with the disease in 2012.

Jamie said: “It’s great to celebrate the success of our row with all the people who have supported us throughout. We can’t believe we raised such a huge amount of money for Breast Cancer Care. It’s a charity which means a great deal to us after Luke’s mother and grandmother were diagnosed with the disease. We’d like to thank everyone who supported us.”

Breast Cancer Care Chief Executive, Samia al Qadhi, said: “Everyone at the charity is celebrating Luke and Jamie’s tremendous achievement. In our 40 year history, this is the largest sum we have ever received from an individual fundraising challenge.

“Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide specialist support charity, and the money Jamie and Luke have raised will greatly increase the support we can provide in the future. Thanks to them we can help many more women live with, through and beyond breast cancer.”

Also present at the celebration event were Luke and Jamie’s friends, families and corporate supporters including WeSEE, Duracell, Buzzacott, Reed, Sidley Austin and INFOTEX.

For more information about Jamie and Luke, visit

Further information

About Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist breast cancer support charity working throughout the UK. They were founded in 1973 by Betty Westgate, who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing forty years they have supported millions of women and their families through our face-to-face, phone and online services.

They also provide training, support and networking opportunities to specialist breast cancer nurses, and Breast Cancer Care publications are used by the majority of breast cancer units throughout the UK.  They campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection, involving people with breast cancer in all that we do.

Visit or call the free helpline on 0808 800 6000.

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