The Leader of the County Council has personally congratulated the  two “inspirational” Northumberland oarsmen involved in the record breaking crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Councillor  Peter Jackson has written to both Peter Robinson from Alnwick and Dicky Taylor who grew up in  Stocksfield, to pass on the county’s pride and congratulations  for their recent rowing world record success.

The two were part of a team of four to set off in mid-December to tackle the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000-mile row from the Canary Islands to Antigua and Barbuda.

They finished the row in a staggering  29 days and 15 hours, comfortably beating the  previous race record of 35 days while raising  £250,000 for charity.

Race organisers said they believed the quartet completed the fastest Atlantic row of all time too, as well as in race history.

In his letter Cllr Peter Jackson said:  “As you know, we come from a great county, which so often produces achievements that are outstanding in nature. I am sure that your success will be a source of pride to our county and the whole country.

“To see the Northumberland flag waving at the finishing line in Antigua was a special moment and I congratulate you on being  great ambassadors for the county.”

The oarsmen tackled the race in a  25-foot boat, relying solely on their physical and mental strength and navigation skills to get them through.

They adopted a gruelling  pattern of rowing for two hours and sleeping for two hours throughout the challenge. Living off dried ration packs and desalinated seawater, the four men battled exhaustion, and big seas to row into the history books.

“To row the Atlantic Ocean is a monumental challenge but  to beat the world record so comfortably is a truly phenomenal achievement,”  said Cllr Jackson.

“I have no doubt your endeavours – both sporting and fundraising – will be an inspiration to many others.”