The Ardilaun Hotel presented a Top Class Line Out recently at a fabulous Black Tie Atlantic Challenge Dinner in Galway. Former Leinster & Connacht Rugby star Damian Browne is preparing for one of the toughest tests of his life where he will solo row across the Atlantic Ocean this December. Damien hosted the glittering event in an effort to raise funds for his Atlantic Challenge chosen charities : MADRA Dog Rescue and Adoption, Médecins Sans Frontieres, Strong Roots Foundation School Rwanda.
The event presented a rare opportunity to hear Irish International Rugby Coach Joe Schmidt and Irish International & Lions Defence Coach Andy Farrell speak about their experiences and lessons from the game with former Irish & Munster Rugby Star Alan Quinlan.
Guests were greeted by a bubbly champagne reception, wined and dined on a delicious four course meal and were entertained throughout the night by a variety of performers including Sean Costello and Frank Naughton’s Duo Vocis and comedian’s Barry Murphy & Colum McDonnell. Exceptional prizes were auctioned on the night including a round of golf with Johnny Sexton.
Sky Sports Ollie Canning and All-Ireland winning hurler Joe Canning were present, with Joe kindly donating the hurley & boots he played with in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final this year to be auctioned for Damian’s chosen charities.
Damian’s 4,800km crossing will begin in the Canary Islands and finish in Antigua. The solo task will stretch the mental and physical capacities of the individuals taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Damian will be competing as a solo rower which means there will be no support boat and no company, just himself and a boatload of food to sustain him on his journey.
For more details on Damian’s Atlantic Solo Row, Visit www.damianbrowne.com
Photographer: Andrew Downes