Nebraska rowers hope to conquer the Atlantic

Posted By: Jenn Hatcher

Some people run marathons and others swim the English channel, but what about rowing across the Atlantic ocean? UNL club rowers George Pagano and Caitlin Miller are training to do just that.

This December, the crew members hope to row from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. Miller explained, “Just knowing that I crossed an ocean by my own power is the cool part for me.”

The mission won’t be cheap though. Currently, a company in Washington state is crafting an expensive boat with storage and sleeping compartments. Plus, the fee to enter the race is $28,000. “I’m pretty confident we’re going to get this done,” said Pagano. “Caitlin and I are both really confident, we’re going to get the money somehow, someway, for sure and it’s not going to be a problem.”

The two started fundraising over a year ago and have a donation page online.

Part of the experience is also raising awareness for a cause. Miller said, “It’s kind of combining our love for rowing while raising money and awareness for these two causes that are really close to us.”

Miller chose suicide prevention and, Pagano chose, Lou Gehrigs disease, which claimed his grandfathers life in 2003. Pagano said, “He’ll (this grandfather) definitely be with us through the trip.  He was in the Navy and he would be beside himself that I was doing this, but he’s definitely going to be with us.”

The college seniors are use to rowing at Branched Oak Lake but they’ve started training multiple times a week and say they’re excited for an ocean challenge.

“It’s kind of my last horrah…before real life takes over,” explained Pagano, who plans to attend law school after the ocean row.

Based on conditions, the pair will spend 40 to 90 days at sea to complete the Atlantic challenge.

To learn more about the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge or to donate, head to