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Freedom – Atlantic Rowing Race Boat

Queensland Maritime Museum - Joy of Museums - Freedom - Atlantic Rowing Race Boat

Freedom is an Atlantic Rowing Race Boat which was rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in a challenge race in 2001 by Doctors Patrick Weinrauch and Paul McCarthy, the first Australians to achieve this feat.   Australian Team, the Freedom crew claimed second place in the Ward Evans Atlantic Rowing Challenge. The Atlantic Rowing Race is an ocean rowing race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies, a distance of approximately 2,550 nm (2,930 statute miles or 4,700 km). The race was founded in 1997 and is the world’s toughest rowing event and is now held annually starting each December.

Freedom raced in the 2001, Ward Evans Atlantic Rowing Race, which departed the port of  Playa San Juan, Tenerife and arrived at the port of Port St. Charles, Barbados. The race started in October, 2001 with 36 teams. The winning boat was Telecom Challenge from New Zealand.

Queensland Maritime Museum - Joy of Museums - Freedom - Atlantic Rowing Race Boat 2

Freedom and Telecom Challenge were neck and neck for the first two weeks polling positions only 3 miles apart. Telecom Challenge eventually overtook Freedom and maintained their lead, winning the race after 42 days.

Sadly, Paul McCarthy, was one of nine Australians to die when a Sea King helicopter crashed on the Indonesian island of Nias while delivering aid to the earthquake devastated area in 2005.

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                 Freedom – Atlantic Rowing Race Boat
  • Launched:          2000
  • Type:                   Purpose-built wooden with fire-glass hull rowing boat
  • Fittings:              Water-maker, solar electronics, active radar reflector
  • Length:                7.3m
  • Width:                 2.1m
  • Propulsion:         Rowing Oars
  • Crew:                   2
  • Race Route:        Canary Islands to the West Indies
  • Museum:            Queensland Maritime Museum


“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
William James



Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons