TWO brothers have crossed the finish line of the world's toughest row, which they took on in memory of Alloa firefighter John Noble.

Firefighter Kris, 30, and engineer Blair Elliot, 28, jetted off to the Canary Islands in November to compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The fastest Scottish pair, they completed the crossing in 55 days, one hour and 54 minutes, rowing the 3,000 miles from La Gomera, English Harbour to Antigua.

Kris’ boss, colleague and friend John lost his life when the fire engine he was travelling in on shift was involved in a road traffic collision in Clacks 10 years ago.

And so the team undertook the challenge in order to raise money for The Firefighters Charity as a tribute to the Alloa watch manager.

The Dunblane duo also came in 30 minutes' ahead of Team Oarstruck – a four-man Welsh team.

Known together as Team Noble, the brothers tackled 40ft waves and all of the elements the Atlantic could conjure during this incredible challenge.

Faced with fierce elements, sleep deprivation and sweltering heat, they had to dig deep to discover what they were made of in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

In a unique coincidence, Team Noble were even able to meet Welsh four Team Oarstruck for breakfast in late January as their courses matched up, and sat in their boats exchanging stories before continuing their row to Antigua.

Skipper Kris said: "It’s been a real privilege to come out here and to be able to undertake a challenge like this.

"Being brothers on the boat only made the experience even better, and we had some incredible days out there.

"There was one day all these dolphins came up to the boat and swam around us for ages, which is a moment we’ll never forget.

"We just took the challenge step by step and day by day and now we’re here and it’s amazing to have finally arrived in Antigua."

Whilst the duo have a healthy sense of adventure, before the race their rowing experience amounted to watching the sport on TV.

In fact, it was while watching Team GB rowing at the 2012 Olympic Games, over a pint, that they came up with the idea of taking on the event.

During the gruelling feat, each participant burns around 8,000 calories a day and loses approximately 20 per cent of their body weight over the duration of the race.

Alongside the physical challenge, they have to work together to stay mentally strong as they spend Christmas Day and New Year’s eve away from their families during the adventure, which lasts anywhere between 35-90 days.

Lisa Everingham, Global Talisker marketing manager, said: "We are delighted for Team Noble and their epic row across the Atlantic.

"To be able to support them in this life changing adventure and to be part of their journey has been a real privilege.

"We’re in awe of their dogged determination to battle on through the power of the Atlantic Ocean and we’re sure this experience will shape them for years to come.

"To us, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is all about supporting and bringing to life the transformational experience and journey of each rower as they immerse themselves in the elements.

"Our founders, the MacAskill brothers, rowed from Eigg to Skye to found Talisker Distillery in Scotland almost 200 years ago and just like our founders’ row, this challenge represents adventure, strength of character and showcases what it means to be made by the sea."