Rowan “Archie” Bailey, one of the men who made the Guinness Book of World Records for rowing the Atlantic representing Antigua in 2015/2016, may never get to row the ocean or fish again, as he could be jailed for life following his conviction yesterday for drug trafficking.
A jury unanimously found the Falmouth resident and his co-accused Kenneth Wyre guilty of three offences – drug trafficking, possession, and intent to supply 50 kilograms of cocaine valued at $7 million.
Justice Keith Thom remanded them to prison pending sentencing on April 12.
Bailey – who competed as part of Team Wadadli in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge 2015/16 while on bail pending his trial – pleaded not guilty to all charges, as did Wyre, and the case went to trial.
The court heard that investigators from the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) caught the two on August 21, 2010 while they were transferring the drugs between vehicles in Clarks Hill.
This week, Bailey, who took the stand, said he had no knowledge that the bags he was transferring from Wyre’s pickup to another car, on Wyre’s instructions, contained the banned substance.
According to him, he thought the bags contained seafood and he said the bags felt “cold” and “damp”.
Prior to Bailey’s testimony, Wyre also gave evidence, pulling himself out of the matter altogether.
The boatowner said the only reason he was in the area on the day of the drug bust was to look for properties to buy and he recalled driving past two vehicles which were parked on the side of the road.
He said that’s when he heard people shouting and he decided to speed away because he noticed a vehicle approaching his, and the individuals on board had guns.
The court heard from him that the individuals shot and punctured the tyres of his vehicle and then identified themselves as members of the ONDCP.
Up to that point, Wyre said, he had no idea there was a cocaine bust. He recalled that he only found out about the cocaine when he was in custody at ONDCP headquarters.
An ONDCP investigator testified that he saw three separate vehicles in the middle of the road, parked side by side. The officer said he witnessed when Bailey removed a black garbage bag from one vehicle and placed it in the trunk of another vehicle.
The officer said having observed this he approached the men and shouted “ONDCP”, and the men drove off.
It was that officer who chased Bailey and caught up with his vehicle, while his colleagues caught Wyre’s pickup.
The men were taken back to the scene where the trunk of the vehicle they had left behind was searched. The cocaine was found and shown to the men who denied knowledge of the Class A drug.
After the jury’s verdict yesterday, the men’s defence lawyers asked that their bail be continued pending sentencing.
But the judge denied the application, noting the seriousness of the offences, particularly drug trafficking which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Rowan “Archie” Bailey (Taken from antiguaatlanticrowers.com)