2022 Race Entrants

Solo

Mike Bates - Atlantic Grappler
Atlantic Grappler (UK)
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Gareth Morris - Alone Against the Atlantic
Alone Against the Atlantic (CYM)
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J Sea J (UK)
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Ocean Calling (NO)
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#BOATOFHOPE (UK)
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This Girl Rows (UK)
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The Blue Marlin (ESP)
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Nothing Ventured (IRL)
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Team: Alone Against the Atlantic (CYM)

Number: (3)
Rower: Gareth Morris
Country: Wales
Boat Design: R25
Charity: RNLI & Mind
Website: Coming Soon!

Gareth Morris - Alone Against the Atlantic

In 2004 (at age 15), I started rowing in a Celtic longboat for the first time. I was instantly hooked. The feeling of the boat bouncing on the sea waves, as you look for the water to use raw power to row and propel the boat forwards, was so satisfying. Since then I’ve wanted to take on bigger and bigger challenges in rowing. Having competed in races all over the coast of Wales, as well as river rowing and a marathon race down the river Thames multiple times, I then competed in the Celtic challenge twice. A roughly 90 mile row non-stop through the night from Ireland to Wales. When I found out about the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, I knew immediately it was the next step. Rowing in the race will be the realisation of a lifelong ambition, and a win would make it so much sweeter. Both the RNLI and MIND are important charities to myself. Having rowed and kayaked on the sea for many years, I know the vital service that the RNLI can provide. The all weather lifeboat in New Quay which covers my local area is also under threat of being taken away in 2020. So in addition to raising money for the RNLI and the fantastic work they do, I wish to raise awareness and promote the campaign to save their all weather lifeboat. Without this crucial vessel people who get into difficulty out at sea in Cardigan bay, could face at least an hour and a half wait for the nearest all weather lifeboat to arrive. This could prove far too long in some situations, and could result in a potentially unnecessary loss of life. I have also chosen MIND, the mental health charity as anybody can be struck by bad mental health at any time. If you speak to any of my friends or family I’m sure they will tell you how happy I always appear. However this doesn’t always show the full picture. In 2011 after losing my mother in a road traffic collision, I suffered with my mental health. I managed to hide it from everyone and at the point of launching this campaign most people still will not know. From one event outside of my control, it caused me to lose my girlfriend, my job and was on a path towards taking my life. Luckily I survived, but many people aren’t as lucky. By talking about mental health, we can end a stigma and through talking help to save lives. I feel the time is right now for me to open up about my own mental health, in order to raise awareness and funds for the charity. Rowing an ocean solo can draw many comparisons to how people living with a mental health problem can feel. You feel isolated and alone, as well as drained and struggling to find the strength to carry on.

Team: Atlantic Grappler (UK)

Number: (2)
Rower: Mike Bates
Country: UK
Boat Design: R25
Charity: Leeds Hospitals Charity
Website: theatlanticgrappler.com

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Mike Bates - Atlantic Grappler

Why I’d like to do the row – For me there are lots of reasons. Firstly I want to give back to our NHS and the unit that saved our son’s life. I also want my children to witness their dad complete a successful project of this magnitude, the brakes will be off then for them as they look forward to what they both may become and achieve in their lives. Lastly, I need an adventure and a refreshed challenge as I enter my 40th year. I’ve always set myself huge goals (joining the Marines, getting my BJJ black belt) and this will be the biggest of them all! Why chosen charity – Leeds Hospitals Cares are the official charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Both of our boys were born prematurely and both needed special care. Our youngest son was born 9 weeks early and spent time in intensive care and high dependancy, he later was diagnosed with meningitis and underwent a further period in and out of intensive care. The amazing staff at Leeds General Infirmary saved his life and we’ll be forever grateful. This is my chance to give back and I aim to raise over £50,000 to support other families like mine who are or have cared for really poorly children. I hope to fund a improvements to the intensive care unit and that project will be decided upon completion of the campaign.

Team: Faulty Compass (UK)

Number: (1)
Rower: Jonathan Middleton
Country: UK
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: TBC
Website: Coming Soon!

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I want to go to the edge of what I think is possible for me to do, and push myself into that. I hope to show that if you commit to something and trust the process, you can accomplish pretty much anything.

Team: J Sea J (UK)

Number: (4)
Rower: Owen Gray
Country: UK
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: Cancer Research
Website: jseajatlanticchallenge.co.uk

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It was a few years ago that a couple of uni friends took on, what seemed then, the completely crazy challenge of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in memory of a family friend. However, since then it has been something that I have always wanted to do and I have finally taken the decision to enter myself for the 2022 race. The main reason behind doing this is to mark the fact it’s been a decade since I lost my father to cancer; I wanted to do something in his memory and to help raise money for three charities very close to our family – Cancer Research UK, Shipston Home Nursing and TUSK. The team name, J Sea J, originated from my dad’s name, Jeremy Charles James. My dad was always a huge lover of the ocean and enjoyed sailing, whether it be in Dartmouth, Salcombe or further afield in the Mediterranean on a family holiday. He also took part in the Fastnet Race twice – including the 2007 race just before he first became ill, when approximately only one third of the starters made it to the finish line due to incredibly stormy conditions. I believe that whilst the Atlantic Row won’t be as difficult as the challenge he faced for 3 years, it will be a close as I can get to matching both the physical and mental aspects of the battle he went through.

The reason I have chosen Cancer Research UK is to help support their ground breaking research in the battle against cancer. Every day we get one step closer to finding a cure against the disease which affects almost every one in two people; I want to help support this fight. SHN were also extremely helpful during the time dad was ill and their support nurses were always happy to answer any questions the family might have and we could lean on them during the tough times. TUSK is a charity my sister in particular has supported for several years and one of the organisations she and a group of others raised money for when they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2014. Their aim and achievement, apart from raising money, was to claim the Guinness World Record for the highest ever game of cricket.

I can think of no better charities to raise money for during my Atlantic Challenge and am sure thinking about them and why I am doing this will help motivate me when I am all alone in the middle of the Atlantic!

Team: Ocean Calling (NO)

Number: (5)
Rower: Linda Emilsen
Country: Norway
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: Mausund Feltstasjon
Website: Coming Soon!

In April 2019 I discovered that there is such a thing as rowing across oceans and this is a thing people do. “I want to do that too”, I thought completely mezmerised, and soon after I decided to enter TWAC 2022 to row across the Atlantic alone. Ever since deciding to row an ocean, both I and others have asked «Why row an ocean and why do it alone?». My best answer to date is “Why not?” I have search both my own mind, the internet, asked other ocean rowers and so on, but I haven`t been able to find a single reason for not doing it myself. So, then I`ll do it, and I can hardly wait! And it`s about time, because no other Norwegian woman has rowed solo across any world ocean yet. I will be the first. Rowing an ocean means I will acquire skills and gain insights into how to cope with both extreme mental and physical hardship, seamanship and navigation, and getting to know myself better, gaining confidence in myself as an adventerous seawoman. The main reason for doing it is still just to get the opportunity to be at sea in such a silent and non-pollution vessel as a rowing boat is, getting as close to the sea as possible, learning about the sea from the sea. How can I say no to that? My passion for the ocean drives me to take on this adventure, but it also makes me want to do something more with my row. Therefore I`m taking this opportunity to also raise awareness of how marine environments are threatened today by the way we are polluting the ocean. One essential part of this is my collaboration with Mausund feltstasjon. They are a local institution on the coast of Norway working in many ways to clean up the marine garbage threatening the marine life here. They collect enormous amounts of garbage, do research on the garbage, and they help spread knowledge about the garbage and what we can do about the situation to young people. I am very humble to be associated with them. During my crossing I will aim to observe and register any garbage I come across, for Mausund feltstasjon to analyse, and I will passionatly row for the ocean. The journey has already started.

Team: #BOATOFHOPE (UK)

Number: (6)
Rower: Bernie Hollywood OBE
Country: UK
Boat Design: R10
Charity: #boatofhope Campaign (on Behalf of Samaritans & Love Rowing)
Website: boatofhope.com

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Bernie hollywood obe to row solo across atlantic to support young people’s mental health parentpay backs bernie hollywood as he seeks to raise £1m for samaritans and love rowing bernie hollywood obe, charity guru and adventurer, is to undertake a solo row across the atlantic ocean, it has today been announced, in support of samaritans’ vital work in tackling the mental health issues faced specifically by young people. The ‘boat of hope’ campaign is being backed by parentpay group, europe’s leading provider of cashless payment and parental engagement systems for schools, and aims to raise a total of £1 million jointly supporting the mental health charity samaritans and love rowing, the british rowing charitable foundation. Well-known for his intrepid charity projects, bernie’s latest expedition, the talisker whisky atlantic challenge, will see the 63-year-old embark on a 60-to-90-day solo voyage across the atlantic in 2022, in a rannoch adventure r10 solo ocean rowing boat measuring just 6m by 1.5m. The boat of hope campaign is devised as a collaborative fundraising effort, with various parties lending their expertise and support pro bono. In addition to the contribution from parentpay, artist justin eagleton, will be designing a mural comprising a series of images that encapsulate the spirit of the campaign, and that will be transposed onto the exterior of bernie’s boat. The design will also incorporate entries from a national competition where young people will be invited to submit representations of what they believe ‘hope’ looks like. In addition, children’s author natalie reeves billing will be creating a bespoke picture book and animation inspired by bernie’s incredible journey on his boat, whilst musician and composer ben hughes will be composing a unique theme tune for the boat of hope. Although bernie will set sail in december 2022, the boat of hope campaign will be kicking off in september this year, with the launch of the newly built boat at the houses of lords. Bernie will then head to his home city of liverpool where the boat will be officially named and the campaign to raise awareness of, and much needed funds for young people’s mental health issues will begin in earnest. Commenting on the fundraising challenge, bernie said: “though I’ve always been someone who enjoys pushing my body to its physical limits, what motivates me to persevere when the going gets tough is knowing that my efforts are aiding others. Rowing the atlantic ocean solo has always been an ambition of mine since the first time I sailed with my late father, so being able to fulfil this personal goal while supporting charities whose causes are so close to my heart really is a dream come true.” parentpay director, clint wilson, added: “the unsettling events of the last year have only served to underscore how vital it is to nurture your mental health – something that’s just as important for young people as it is for adults. As an organisation whose core mission is rooted in supporting families, we are delighted to be able to play a part in this inspiring challenge, the funds raised from which we know will make such a huge difference to the lives of many young people in the uk.” love rowing chair and olympian cath bishop commented: “we are delighted to have been chosen as a beneficiary of the boat of hope campaign. The funds raised will enable us to deliver life changing, inclusive rowing programmes across the uk. Bernie is an inspiration and we share his commitment to supporting the positive mental health of young people”. Samaritans ceo, julie bentley said: “we are delighted that bernie has chosen to support the vital work of samaritans with his fantastic and hugely ambitious rowing challenge. There are many parallels with bernie’s challenge and what young people have endured throughout the pandemic – his resilience will be tested, there may be struggles in adversity and he will need to overcome the challenges of loneliness and isolation. Samaritans believes in hope and recovery and bernie’s challenge and his boat encapsulates this. We wish him all the best in achieving his goal.” plans are also underway to create a documentary film detailing bernie’s gruelling two-year physical and mental endurance training programme. Bernie hollywood charity guru extraordinaire, over the past 39 years bernie has raised £42 million pounds for uk and overseas charities. He is a world record-holder running the longest distance in 7 days and has received countless awards for his philanthropy over the last two decades, including the president’s certificate of appreciation from hrh the duchess of cornwall in recognition of his work with barnardo’s and the honours award for the millions raised for local charities in his hometown of liverpool. https://www.Berniehollywood.Com/

Team: Caleb for the Cure (CA)

Number: (8)
Rower: Caleb Wright
Country: Canada
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: Epilepsy Canada
Website: calebforthecure.com

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with adventure and the means to achieve it. Constantly looking for new, strange things to do and try. In canoes and rafts, on my own two boots or wheels, with a rope or just my hands to steady myself, in the heat of the day or the dark of the night, adventure does not wait for me and so I pursue it. I’ve climbed mountains, paddled rivers, explored abandoned mines and buildings. I’ve ridden mountain bikes, dirtbikes, motorcycles and quads. I am part of a motorcycle ice racing team, flying across frozen lakes at 150+ km/h, the wind sweeping past you at -30°C with studded tires spinning like a chainsaw below you and your competitors jostling you as they pass. This race across the Atlantic in a row boat, of all things, is so absurd and crazy it fills me with adrenaline. It is truly the ultimate adventure. Leaving where Christopher Columbus departed for the new world, with a small fleet of ships to discover the unknown. But alone…with two oars…and racing others doing the same crazy thing! That’s right up my alley.

I’ve wanted to take part in this race for several years now, but it always felt like something selfish, to spend so much time and effort on, only to be able to say I rowed across an ocean. An incredible feat to be sure, but without deeper meaning or purpose. I do not know why it took me so long to put the pieces together, but I found my meaning. Tristan, my girlfriend and an incredible woman with a story. We met in November 2017 and, as cliche as it is, I fell for her almost immediately. The more we talked, the more I realized how incredible she truly is. She is loving, kind, dedicated and patient and her goal to become a teacher only highlights these qualities further. Tristan’s attitude and outlook on life are even more impressive in light of her diagnosis of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. During the period of diagnosis and medication trials, there were many tough patches. The uncertainty weighs on you, and the side effects from medication took a while to get used to, but through it all, she kept her chin up and did her best to not let it define her. Despite the situation, she kept pushing forward with her university education, her job, teaching dance, and coaching a cheer team, which is enough of a load for anyone, let alone a woman also dealing with the stress of epilepsy. I realized how fortunate our circumstances were that allowed us to deal with epilepsy and also just how difficult it could be for others, and I want to make a difference. Adventure is a part of our lives, and now epilepsy is too.

We will be partnering with the team at Epilepsy Canada who not only provides support for those living with epilepsy but whose main goal is to help the Canadian neurology community find a cure. Epilepsy is present in approximately 300 000 Canadians, and is recognized by the World Health Organization as the world’s most common brain disorder. Despite this it is comparatively underfunded and Epilepsy Canada does a fantastic job of supporting several different major research projects in finding future treatment for people who suffer from medication resistant seizures as well as seizure forecasting and defense against Sudden Unexpected Death In Epilepsy(SUDEP). This is my chance to make a difference in the community, and to support other families who are going through the same challenges as myself and Tristan. I can think of no better cause to give my time and effort to. It is no longer just me crossing the ocean alone for the sake of having done it. It is the entire community crossing an ocean to support each other.

Team: This Girl Rows (UK)

Number: (9)
Rower: Lara Vafiadis
Country: UK
Boat Design: R10
Charity: Plan Uk
Website: thisgirlrows.com

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Since being involved with a team who competed in the race a few years ago.. the idea of rowing the atlantic has always been at the back of my mind. I have always had an innate sense of adventure, gaining my yachtmaster at 21 and subsequently sailing the atlantic. Rowing the atlantic is the next logical step… ! Since 1937, Plan International has been promoting the rights of children around the world. They work with their partners in more than 45 countries, making sure children in some of the poorest communities are safe, and protected from violence. They provide access to essential services including education, healthcare, clean water and toilets. They are there when disasters happen, providing emergency relief and supporting communities to recover, rebuild and develop their resilience. Through their “Because I am a Girl” campaign, they are also dedicated to improving girls’ lives globally – including right here in the UK. By working with young people, they are challenging gender inequality, campaigning against harmful practices like child marriage and enabling girls everywhere to build a better future. Because I want to live in a world where every child, especially every girl, knows their value – and the communities they’re growing up in – and the world around them -values them too.

Team: The Blue Marlin (ESP)

Number: (10)
Rower: Cristian Montero
Country: Spain
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: Proanimalgomera
Website: Coming Soon!

The first time I met the race was in 2017 as the owner of the blue marlin and I could not believe how incredible it was, i met the rowers who were part of the race with their motivations, their dreams to undertake this enormous challenge, in the days they were in the blue marlin I saw how after a long day of preparation on their boats they all came to the bar to relax , they shared their anecdotes and nerves. On the day of departure to see how they said goodbye to their family and friends and leave for Antigua and feel an emotion within me, it has been an honor and privilege to know each one of them and their stories every year. I think that crossing the Atlantic should not be easy, but I see it as a life-changing experience. The blue marlin has been part of the race since its inception and we are honored to be part of the race in 2022. I have decided for the ProAnimalGomera association because it is the only one in La Gomera that is dedicated to rescuing and helping abandoned animals, the work they do is incredible and they have very few resources to continue doing what they do and help so many animals.

Team: Nothing Ventured (IRL)

Number: (11)
Rower: Jamie Carr
Country: Ireland
Boat Design: R25
Charity: Cancer Fund for Children (IRE) and City in the Community (UK)
Website: nothingventuredcampaign.com

The Nothing Ventured campaign is a solo and unsupported endeavour, comprising of physical and mental challenges in two of mother nature’s most testing environments. I created the Nothing Ventured campaign to raise much needed funds for children’s charities in the UK and Ireland, while attempting to fulfil my lifelong dreams. The two charities I will be supporting are Cancer Fund for Children (Ireland) and City in The Community (UK).

Alongside rowing the Atlantic Ocean, In the same year I will be attempting The Marathon Des Sables (MDS). This is a multi-day ‘ultra-marathon’ run in six days over a course of approximately 156 miles (250km). This gruelling multi-stage race takes place in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates – the Sahara Desert.

This will be the adventure of a lifetime!

Pairs

Enginoars (UK & NO)
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Minds Matter Logo
Minds Matter (UK)
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The Kiwi Warrioars (NZ)
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Team Ocean Grown (USA & CA)
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Seas the Day (UK)
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But A Dream TWAC 2022
But a Dream (AUS)
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Mr & Mrseas (UK)
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Row for Change (DK)
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Dream Boats (UK/US)
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Dragonfish (UK)
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Two-Inna-Row (SA & UK)
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Stronger Twogether (UK)
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Team Heart to Follow Logo
Heart to Follow (NL)
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Team: Enginoars (UK & NO)

Number: (12)
Rower: Rufus Mitchell-Heggs & Thor Sandtorv
Country: UK, Norway
Boat Design: Coming Soon!
Charity: Engineers Without Borders UK & Engineers Without Borders Norway
Website: enginoars.com

The challenge – represents the opportunity to discover how to navigate unknown emotional and physical landscapes, testing our resilience, our discipline and our limits. It will enable us to develop our abilities to motivate each other and to activate our strengths (in particular through exhaustion). It will enable us to embark on an experience that will enrich our existing friendship, giving us memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Team: Minds Matter (UK)

Number: (13)
Rower: Adam Bundle and Stu Vince
Country: UK
Boat Design: Adkin Pair
Charity: Solent Mind and the Firefighters Charity
Website: mindsmatter

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Minds Matter Logo

Adam and Stu have both had to overcome some form of mental health problems during their working life. Through the tragic loss of colleagues, the regular pressures of making life and death decisions and attending dangerous incidents on a daily basis, the Minds Matter concept was born.

Through Minds Matter, Adam and Stu support mental health awareness, regularly holding mental health workshops and fundraising for charities. Supported by toob, their biggest fundraising challenge has begun, with the pair preparing to row across the Atlantic Ocean in December 2022 to raise money, with a target of £50,000, for Solent Mind and the Fire Fighters Charity whilst raising awareness of mental health.

Team: The Kiwi Warrioars (NZ)

Number: (14)
Rower: Gowyn Jones & Jacob Boston
Country: New Zealand
Boat Design: Actinidia Deliciosa
Charity: Mental Health
Website: facebook.com/thekiwiwarrioars

The murmurs grew into whispers, the whispers to rumbles, the rumbles to brave words and finally, brave words into a sign up email. Nervous and excited looks were exchanged before pressing the ‘ENTER’ key of no return. That’s it – we’re going to do it. And just like that the world for kiwifruits Gowyn and Jacob had changed and they were embarking across the Atlantic. In a row boat…. And of course, those brave words? In their place – whimpers.

Team Strengths:
Nutritional Content: Two kiwifruits – extremely high vitamin C. RATING: SCURVY-PROOF

Stubbornness: Known to trot around mountains and through deserts for extended periods of time. RATING: EXCEPTIONAL

Resiliency: Haircuts and shaving completely optional for at least one. RATING: SCRUFFY

Team Weaknesses:
Communication: Gruff, taciturn kiwi personalities. What conversation? RATING: SHUT UP AND ROW

Organisation: Being frank, they couldn’t organise a wave in an ocean. RATING: UNLIKELY

Rowing Experience: both are the progeny of Olympic rowing parents and were born on a row boat. Raised at sea these two lads didn’t set foot on land until the age of seventeen. Yeah right! RATING: IDIOTS

Seriously, this is an amazing challenge that we are incredibly privileged to take on. We going to raising both awareness and money for mental health charities having had close family and friends grappling with these sorts of issues. People from all walks of life experience challenges and obstacles as a result of mental health. This can be everything from being stuck in a rut and not knowing how to get out through to lifelong, recurring problems. And the worst part, is its often not okay to talk about it. Join us as we get out of the rut and take on something we don’t know how to do. Try something on for yourself and let us know all about it. Join us for every wince, moan and sigh.

Team: Team Ocean Grown (USA & CA)

Number: (15)
Rower: Lisa Roland and Nini Champion
Country: Canada, USA
Boat Design: R25
Charity: Maritime Education Grant for Youth in Foster Care
Website: oceangrown.co

Lisa Roland and Nini Champion are a North American pairs team who, having separately found their way into the yachting industry, were both in Antigua when they were first introduced to the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. It also just happens to be where they first met, and fate would have it that in a familiar scene at Skullduggeries, they sat down with one another and agreed to take on the challenge themselves.

Nini had always wanted to adventure, and live beyond what felt to be the confinements of her hometown. Working in the yachting industry appeared to reveal only fractions of what the world has to offer, but led to an awakening of self-discovery. Breaking beyond familiar boundaries led to a sensation of fulfilment, and presented experiences she had always dreamed of, as well as a drive to challenge herself further.

Lisa is Canadian born, but is now a citizen of the world, working as a yacht captain. She lives a life at sea, and relishes in the triumphs and tribulations of this lifestyle. She is passionate about her work with at risk youth, and inspiring the next generation of change makers. She was raised primarily in the foster care system, experiencing the struggles faced by children in this environment

It is for this reason that we have chosen to donate proceeds to The HomeBridge Youth Society. Based in Halifax, Canada, this organization provides tailored educational programs, arts and recreation, counselling and support, and are truly changing lives for at risk youth. All of the campaign proceeds will go towards a grant to fund youth aging out of the foster care system to pursue careers in the maritime sector.

Team: Seas the Day (UK)

Number: (16)
Rower: Miriam Payne & Nia Hunter
Country: UK
Boat Design: Coming Soon!
Charity: Mind & Wellbeing of Women
Website: seastheday2022.com

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Why? Well, why not? We’re sure that most people could think of a thousand and one reasons not to take on ‘The World’s Toughest Row’. And granted 3000 miles of blisters, salt sores and ration packed food doesn’t exactly scream ‘festive Christmas getaway’. Despite our student status, this was not a decision made whilst inebriated (believe it or not). Miriam had always known about the challenge, and one day planned to find someone crazy enough to complete it with her. After a unanimous series of rejections from our boat club pals, it became clear the original plan of a four was not going to work out. When Miriam then threatened to do the event solo, Nia joined the crew, because “nobody should do something that mental on their own”. There’s safety in numbers, I guess. Both wildly mediocre rowers, with a handful of relatively meaningless medals between us, it goes without saying that we are hoping to gain some world records in the process. Nia has been rowing for 6 long years and refuses to quit without something cool to show for it. Our parents were naturally concerned, and were not convinced that ‘row an ocean’ was an appropriate answer to the question ‘what are you planning to do when you finish uni?’. With virtually no say in the matter and the knowledge that we are trying to do something good and make a difference for our chosen charities, they are supportive, ‘but still concerned’. Good enough for us. We have chosen to fundraise for Wellbeing of Women and Mind. We have both had friends and family affected by mental health, and are inspired by Mind’s mission to bring people together through social initiatives and sport. Nobody should go it alone, be that a difficult time in your life or rowing an ocean. Wellbeing of Women are dedicated to improving the health of women and babies through pioneering medical research. Included in their research is gynecological cancers like ovarian cancer, to which we have lost loved ones. Women’s health is typically underfunded, and through our campaign we hope to raise awareness of this problem and just how crucial research in this area is.

Team: But a Dream (AUS)

Number: (17)
Rower: Rosie Arnel & Angela Lawrence
Country: Australia
Boat Design: R15
Charity: The McGrath Foundation
Website: butadream.net

But A Dream TWAC 2022

Two Girls a Boat and an Ocean –

Two girls from regional Australia rowing a boat! Some say that’s crazy. We say, why not!

Ange and Rosie are both adventurous spirits having spent their years dabbling in a variety of sports: kayaking, triathlons; trail running; swimming and riding, they want to try a challenge outside of their comfort zone. TWAC has been a challenge Rosie has been dreaming of completing since 2018. With ups and downs she knew this was one challenge she would have to work hard for to make sure she reaches the start line. They met in 2020 and soon realized they both have the same love of sport and experiencing new things as each other. During a coffee catch up the unexpecting Ange had no idea her future would soon change.

But a Dream will be raising awareness and funds for The McGrath Foundation. A foundation close to Rosie’s heart, having suffered breast cancer herself 7 years ago during her last pregnancy.  The McGrath Foundation supports breast cancer patients and families by providing a Breast Care Nurse from diagnosis through to treatment. An invaluable service which should be available to everyone suffering from breast cancer.

In addition to raising funds for their charities, Ange and Rosie want to build awareness and encourage younger generations of the possibilities available. And to inspire others to believe in themselves, see their true potential and dream big!

Team: Mr & Mrseas (UK)

Number: (18)
Rower: Nina & Simon Crouchman
Country: UK
Boat Design: R25
Charity: The Samaritans
Website: mrandmrseas.co.uk

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Having thought about wanting to compete in this race a few years ago and telling ourselves it was an impossible thing for 2 middle aged ordinary people like us to consider we find ourselves planning and prepping for the challenge in Dec 2022.A firm believer of anything is possible and anything can be overcome Nina was actually the one that was a bit hesitant on the” yes” we are going to do this but with the message in mind of “take every day as it comes or you will regret it”. The true grit this pair have will become reality. The duo will be raising funds for the Samaritans ,a great cause which provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. Having lost an old friend through difficult isolating lonely times during covid ,this charity is close to the couples hearts. Emotions of being alone ,no human contact, no new conversation and isolation are exactly what Nina & Simon will be going through too Whilst out in the middle of the Ocean. Both Nina & Simon are experienced rowers at their local rowing club but realize new skills will need to be learnt and practiced along this journey to enable them to complete the worlds toughest rowing race.

Team: Atlantic Sonrise (UK)

Number: (19)
Rower: Jordan Wilkes & Nicola Wilkes
Country: UK
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: Bliss – Plastic Oceans UK
Website: Coming Soon!

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Having followed the challenge closely for five years and been fortunate enough to be in Antigua during the finish of three previous Talisker Whisky Atlantic challenges this has been something we have been interested in doing for quite some time.

We are Jordan “Jordi” and Nickie Wilkes, a mother and son team from Falmouth, Cornwall in the UK. Having grown up around boats and with 7 Atlantic and 1 pacific crossing under sail between us we are no strangers to being at sea. However, crossing an ocean in the relative comfort of a sailing boat is going to be remarkably different to what we will face during this row, its going to be a real challenge and will no doubt push us to our limits both physically and mentally.

We will be undertaking this family row across the Atlantic ocean to raise money for two charities, Bliss UK and plastic oceans UK. Bliss is a charity in which exists to give every baby born premature or sick in the UK the best chance of survival. Jordi was born very premature and without charities like Bliss and their extremely hard work he and many other babies would simply not have survived. Being a mother and son team this is a charity in which we are both extremely grateful for. https://www.bliss.org.uk/about-us/about-bliss

Our second charity will be Plastic oceans UK, Plastic oceans UK have been experts on plastic pollution in our oceans for nearly a decade starting out with the award winning documentary A Plastic Ocean. Their mission is to educate, change attitudes and stop plastic reaching our oceans within a generation. With our passion for the ocean we feel the work this charity does is extremely important as the ocean and its wildlife needs to be protected for all to enjoy as we have for many years to come. https://plasticoceans.uk/

We have just under two years until race start and lots of preparation and organisation to do but we hope you will all follow our progress. More information coming soon!

Team: Row for Change (DK)

Number: (20)
Rower: Simon Svendsen & Kasper Skaarup-Andersen
Country: Denmark
Boat Design: Adkin Pair
Charity: Coolunite
Website: rowforchange.com

We are two ordinary guys from Denmark, who want to do the extraordinary, alongside raising money to a charity. The inspiration to sign up to the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge came from some YouTube clips. The clips showed tall waves, calm seas and people pushed to their limits. That where something we couldn´t shake off and taking part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge where soon a reality and we signed up. We are not special we haven’t done anything like this before. But we believe that anyone can achieve the impossible the unthinkable and make different regardless of their background. There is no worse thought than children that are diagnosed with life-threatening disease or children that are so vulnerable that they do not even have a home, where they feel safe. These are situations that for many are hard to imagine, but unfortunately the reality for many children. CoolUnite gives support to these children. Children that suffer from serious and life-threatening disease and children that are born into families, where abuse is part of their everyday life. Among others, CoolUnite cooperates with Denmarks only children’s hospice, Lukashuset. Here, children can receive palliative care, while the entire family can stay together. Often only one parent can stay with the child in hospitals, and therefore this is often the first time during the child’s illness that the family has an opportunity to be united with and around the child. Furthermore, CoolUnite has established Pausehuset in collaboration with Ønskeland. Pausehuset means the Break House, and as the name indicates it is a place where a child with a serious illness and their family can take a break from their everyday lives, hospitalization, cleaning and cooking. At CoolUnite we believe that honesty is the most important element when it comes to charity. That is why we strive to have the most transparent charitable foundation in Denmark, where everybody can follow every step of our journey. Therefore you can find stories and information on all causes we support on our website.

Team: Dream Boats (UK/US)

Number: (21)
Rower: Charlie Layton & Ben Towill
Country: UK, USA
Boat Design: R25
Charity: Green Heart Project
Website: dreamboats.us

Two Britts, living in Charleston South Carolina, Ben and Charlie were Inspired by friends that have competed the Talisker Challenge over the years, and after years of dreaming have decided to follow in their footsteps. Having always admired people who break outside their comfort zone to accomplish a goal, Ben has held to a longstanding goal of rowing the Atlantic. Witnessing his friend, Bobby Melville’s (Founder of IGO Adventures) journey across the Atlantic and experiencing firsthand the fact that setting big goals and surmounting obstacles, can change the course of one’s life quite positively — Ben is now making his 10 year dream a reality and getting down to work. Over the course of three years since moving two Charleston SC, Charlie has whipped into the best shape he’s ever been with a longstanding goal on the horizon. Back in 2018, Charlie’s friend, Andy Grant, a chef as well, completed the challenge with the Atlantic Seamen, and planted the seed for Charlie to set his determination towards. Working closely with Ben, Charlie spoke of his goal of rowing the Atlantic and it just so happened shared the same dream. And the dreamboats were born! We have chosen two charities to support, firstly Green Heart. As chefs & restaurateurs, we believe deeply in the power of food education and shar- ing experiences around the table, a driving force behind our business as we build stronger connections with our teams and our communities. Here in Charleston, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals and organizations – such as The Green Heart Project – dedicating their work to creating equal access to farm fresh foods and empowering the next generation with healthy habits. The Green Heart Project – a non-profit founded in 2009 – has established a network of Farm to School programs within Charleston, utilizing school gardens & urban farms as vehicles for teaching – connnecting students to food, health, culture & the environment. Students are connected with fresh, locally grown fruits & vegetables as they participate in the growing, harvesting and cooking processes. With hands-on, outdoor learning experiences students learn core values and practice essential so- cial-emotional learning (SEL) skills while working alongside volunteers – “Green Heart Buddies” – in the garden & kitchen classroom. Secondly 2041 A kindred sense of adventure, perserverance and environmentalism unites the Atlantic Challenge Dreamboats team, with the 2041 Foundation. The 2041 Foundation was founded by polar explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan, the first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. Swan has dedicated his life to the preservation of Antarctica through the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change. It was Swan’s original expedition to the South Pole that was the inspiration for 2041, an organization he founded and dedicated to the preservation of the polar regions. The mission of the 2041 Foundation is to engage businesses and communities on climate science, personal leadership, and the promotion of sustainable practices. With an emphasis on the environment, our food systems and the social impact of Green Heart and 2041, the Dreamboats team will be dedicating all proceeds raised to the efforts of the Green Heart alongside the 2041 Foundation.

Team: Dragonfish (UK)

Number: (22)
Rower: Steve Hayes & Peter Wright
Country: UK
Boat Design: Adkin Pair
Charity: Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust & Macmillan Jersey
Website: dragonfishrow.com

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TWAC has been towards the top of Steve & Pete’s bucket lists for some time but always seemed like a pipe dream. With permission granted from their wives they’ve finally taken the plunge, signed up and are now hanging on for dear life as they ride the exciting journey of Ocean rowing planning. The Jersey pair met in 2012 through their shared love of endurance events and mutual thirst for adventure. They have since gone on to compete in numerous challenges, both individually and together. These challenges include 6 day Ultramarathons in the Amazon Jungle, the Sahara Dessert, the Sub-Arctic tundra and mountains of Canada and Alaska, a channel swim, a marathon pulling a car, a Triple Ironman and countless other challenging Ultra endurance events, both in the UK and abroad. But the pair had never rowed until a couple of months after signing up for TWAC2022. They’re both looking forward to immersing themselves in the sport of Coastal rowing at Jersey Rowing Club and learning everything they can about ocean rowing. For this challenge they will be pushing themselves to their mental and physical limits with a view to finding the balance between trying to win the race and enjoying the experience to the full whilst hoping to raise much needed funds for the Durrell rewilding projects in Brazil. The first Rewild Carbon Project in the Atlantic forest of Brazil aims to restore 4,500 hectares of vital forest corridors by 2030 in an attempt to restore the populations of Black Lion Tamarinds and other primates. With less than 2 years to go and a fast clicking clock, we have a lot of planning, preparation and organization to undertake. We look forward to welcoming you on board as our partner/supporters. Join the Journey! For more information, follow our Instagram and Facebook pages. We both enjoy regular family visits to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust at home in Jersey, and are fully supportive of their mission of “saving species from extinction”. Back in 2015 we competed in a multi-day ultramarathon in the Amazon Forest of Brazil, nominating Durrell as our chosen charity and were delighted to raise thousands in the process. We are passionate about conservation and we will continue to support Durrell by fundraising for the first Rewild carbon project in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. The project aims to restore 4,500 hectares of vital forest corridors by 2030 by planting 17,000 trees and creating sustainable livelihoods for local people and neutralizing approximately 2,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Team: Two-Inna-Row (SA & UK)

Number: (23)
Rower: Sean Geiser & Darryl Thole
Country: South Africa, UK
Boat Design: LB4
Charity: Kids Cancer Foundation, Children With Cancer UK & the Cancer Society of the Bahamas
Website: two-inna-row.com

We are related so the bond runs in the blood.

The endeavour to enter into the world’s most grueling rowing event was spawned by Sean having lived in Antigua since 2017, watching the yearly event finish and then, being drawn into entering the event after becoming great friends with a soloist in the 2020 campaign.

In an act of madness, after a fleeting discussion with the TWAC management, Darryl was contacted via a short WhatsApp message which was the genesis of this incredible journey.

Sean’s wife battled and beat cancer, whilst Darryl with a toddler in their life decided to dedicate the crossing to fighting children’s cancer and assisting the families needing to deal with the daily struggle and trauma that cancer can inflict.

Darryl has run marathons and Sean is all too familiar with the daily stress, strain, and pain that cancer wreaks in a person’s life.  What better way to raise awareness and help with donations to the charities we have chosen, than to row across the Atlantic?  Well, some may say it is madness, and indeed it may be, but we felt it was the most fitting way to raise awareness and funds by challenging our minds, bodies, and souls in the most arduous conditions the ocean can throw at us.

It is with guts, grit, determination, a lot of pain and hopefully still a bond between us that we will pursue this epic challenge, crossing 3,000 miles of ocean unassisted!

Team: Stronger Twogether (UK)

Number: (24)
Rower: Julie Paillin & Ian Dean
Country: UK
Boat Design: R25
Charity: Loros and the Community Heartbeat Trust
Website: strongertwogether.co.uk

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It seems fitting that Ian is joining Jooles on her dream of rowing an ocean as they met at the ‘Pacific Terrific’ Documentary Screening in 2019. Ian fell in love at that moment and announced to friends that she was the next Mrs Dean. It wasn’t until 2021 the stars aligned and he eventually managed to tell her. Next thing he knows he’s agreed to row the Atlantic Ocean with Jooles.

Jooles is a Mum to two girls aged 11 and 7, has lived her life either on or next to the water. The ocean rowing began seriously eight years ago with an interest in rowing around Britain and following a fellow indoor rower in the 2015 race. Her previous rowing accolades include a Concept2 World Record, Marathon Records, Coastal, British Masters 4+ Win and international rowing adventures including rowing in the Vogalonga, Holland, Austria, Marseille & Naples. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant however was the best and most prestigious experience until now. Over the last 14 years of rowing adventures, coastal and ocean rowing experience, her passion for life and inherent determination has made her the driving force and natural choice to lead the pair on this most epic of adventures.

Ian is a Dad of one teenage daughter and like most kids he spent summers in the local rivers, lakes and old quarries. Ian’s water based activities have generally been inland, including kayaking, open water swimming, narrowboat and river cruise adventures. Ian keeps busy singing and dancing, walking, anything from 5 to 70km, Obstacle Course Running and climbing. Ian started rowing after meeting Jooles. Ian likes to say he’s not competitive but the fourth time rowing ever he competed in the annual learn to row mini-races against more experienced rowers and won one of the heats. A lot of Ian’s time is now taken up preparing for TWAC 2022 with weight training, yoga and a variety of mobility work to improve his strength, mobility and endurance fitness… and rowing of course. Perks of having a PT and rowing coach as your life partner.

We have decided to raise money for two charities personal to us both. LOROS a local Leicestershire charity providing hospice care to patients and families relieving the distress of patients with advanced incurable diseases, mainly cancer. LOROS palliative care helped Ian’s family when their mum passed away in 2004. Every year LOROS care for over 2,500 people across the county delivering free, high-quality, compassionate care and support that is special and unique for each individual.

Our second charity is The Community HeartBeat Trust. Jooles is a First Responder and friends with one of the Trustees as well as working for the charity helping out with their social media. Their mission is to increase the chances of survival from out of hospital sudden cardiac arrest by helping and supporting communities in the process of fundraising for a defib, training, guidance through all the paperwork and long term ongoing maintenance, logs, checks and support in having a working defib accessible to the public.

Team: Heart to Follow (NL)

Number: (24)
Rower: Marieke le Duc, Renate de Backere
Country: Netherlands
Boat Design: R25
Charity: The Women’s Heart
Website: hearttofollow.nl

The Dutch national flag
Team Heart to Follow Logo

Marieke and Renate are in for the Double. With their team of 4 ‘Atlantic Dutchesses’ they won the female class of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2020. Their story is not over yet. Loving the Ocean and addicted to rowing, they are ready for yet another adventure.

For an outsider it may be hard to follow why they can’t stop rowing and longing for another challenge that will put their stamina to new limits. But why explain when life is too short to do all the things you love doing.

The charity was an obvious choice: the Women’s Heart. Just like their Atlantic campaign they choose right from the heart for this charity as there is so much more research needed to identify differences between men’s and women’s hearts. These two women follow their hearts: heart to follow.

Trios

Ambrose Buoys (UK)
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Dark Trio (UK)
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Team: Ambrose Buoys (UK)

Number: (25)
Rower: Felix Ambrose, Finn Ambrose & Louis Ambrose
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Tusk Trust
Website: ambrosebuoys.com

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As a team, we have found it almost impossible to identify a single motivation as to why we have committed to ‘The World’s Toughest Row’, instead we feel that we are driven by a handful of factors. We are three brothers who share an affinity for the outdoors and we see this as the perfect test. In 2003, we were exposed to the enormity of this challenge as our father completed the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race as part of a pair. Hearing stories about the endeavour, witnessing firsthand the toll it took and experiencing the atmosphere at the finish line has done little to quell our curiosity. Rather than merely sowing a seed in our minds that we might one day embark on a similar journey, it cemented the plan and fabricated an absolute objective for us to follow in those footsteps. In fact, as children, we were so confident that we would not only take on the challenge but also surpass our father’s time of 59 days, that we made a bet with him! As we will be a team of three, and with the boat and much of the equipment having improved, we have normalised these factors to reach a new time to beat – 40 days. The stakes are yet to be finalised, but vary dramatically between the original bet of £5 and having to turn around and row back when we reach Antigua!

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has not only created a huge challenge for conservation, but has highlighted how connected we are to the natural world, and illustrated just how delicate that web is. From the oceans we sail on, through the habitats that provide the air we breathe, to the estimated 10 million plant and animal species that share our planet, there has never been a more crucial time to fight for the protection of all life on earth. In Africa, one of the most biodiverse areas on our planet, the relentless impact of the pandemic threatens to undo decades of conservation progress. The collapse in tourism and economies has seriously affected rural livelihoods and conservation efforts. Large scale redundancies of wildlife rangers, community liaison teams and other project staff have led to reports of an upsurge in illegal bushmeat hunting, and fears of an imminently approaching international poaching crisis.

Team: Dark Trio (UK)

Number: (26)
Rower: Gareth Keighley, Charles Taylor & Chris Ashford
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Youngminds
Website: DarkTri0

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Team Dark Trio, we are three friends in our 30s with a passion for adventure. Team Dark trio has harboured ambitions of crossing the Atlantic for nearly 12 years. Our adventurous spirit and aspirations to complete challenges has lured us to enter the race. We will utilise the platform to raise money for our chosen charity as we believe it is equally important to give back, help and potentially encourage others who are not as fortunate in life to have the time, the physical health and means to complete a challenge such as this. We will look forward to being alongside other adventureres on their own journey.

Fours

Team Emotive (UK)
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Nedurance (NL)
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Shut Up and Row (USA)
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The Friendship (UK)
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Ocean Cats (ESP)
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Strokes 4 Blokes (UK)
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Atlantic Girls (UK)
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This Way Up! (UK)
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Ocean Spirit (SUI)
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Atlantic Guardsman (UK)
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Row Hard or Go Home (IRL)
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Ocean Dadventure (UK)
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Raring to Row (UK)
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In Our Element (UK)
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HMS Oardacious (UK)
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Status Code 14 (UK)
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Team Guardian (USA)
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Atlantic Endeavoar (UK)
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A picture of team Rowmodels, a ladies four from TWAC 2022
Rowmodels (DK)
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Fight Oar Die
Fight Oar Die (USA)
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Team: Atlantic Endeavoar (UK)

Number: (45)
Rower: Olly Collins, Louis Cruysmans, Henry Putt, Will Hole
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: The Oli Hilsdon Foundation / Mind
Website: atlanticendeavoar.com

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The Pacific Coast is known for innovation and pioneering spirit. Team Pacific Boys was forged by the tech industry and impassioned by a coast rich in human and natural history. Our shared desire for uncommon adventure and creating something greater than ourselves has inspired us to pursue the challenge of a lifetime. Visit us on our website to learn more.

Team: Team Guardian (USA)

Number: (44)
Rower: Mark Pfetzer, Jarrod Slindee, Michael Hogue & 1 TBC
Country: USA
Boat Design: R45
Charity: First Responder Support Network & Other Like-minded Charities
Website: guardianinitiatives.org

Each and every one of us are served by first responders in our communities. These men and women voluntarily enter in to a profession that we all know to be dangerous. Gunfire, ambushes, fires, search and rescue missions, and emergency driving are all dangers of the job that the general public hear about and can understand. However, lurking in the shadows of these high-profile dangers is a lesser known, but just as deadly risk. The psychological traumas experienced by our nation’s police, fire, EMS, and 911 dispatchers can lead some down a destructive and all too often deadly path. The consequence of seeing tragedy on a regular basis can contribute to depression, substance abuse, and other effects of post-traumatic stress. Tragically, for some, a false sense of hopelessness results in suicidal behavior. The number of first responders who die by suicide is alarming and heart-breaking. More powerful than the problem is the reality that the effects can be prevented and the damage treated. Through awareness, training, and treatment by culturally competent clinicians, first responders affected can move on to live full and satisfying lives. It is the hope of Team Guardian, through this initiative, to make as big of an impact in this as possible. While this challenge will be the biggest we have ever faced, it’s nothing compared to the challenge many of our local heroes face every day! So, why row the Atlantic? Simple – we’re raising money and awareness for our fellow first responders. The First Responder Support Network (FRSN) is a nonprofit offering treatment and education to promote recovery from stress and critical incidents experienced by first responders and their families. FRSN hosts The West Coast Post-Trauma Retreat, a six-day residential treatment as well as the Significant Others and Spouses, a similar program for the partners of first responders who have been affected by critical incidents experienced by their loved ones. In addition to First Responder Support Network, Team Guardian will be working with multiple other charities who are making a positive impact in first responder wellness and suicide prevention.

Team: Status Code 14 (UK)

Number: (43)
Rower: Steve Dredge, Simon Lemon & 2 TBC
Country: UK
Boat Design: Rossiter Ocean 2
Charity: Rock 2 Recovery & Chestnut Appeal for Mens Health
Website: statuscode14.com

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Introducing Team Status Code 14!

We are a small group of friends, Two serving Police Officers, a retired Police Officer and a Commercial Diver, who have similar goals, ethos and a love of adventure. We have come together to complete a number of significant physical challenges to raise funds and awareness of two charities which are close to our hearts.

We will be Swimming the English Channel, rowing the Atlantic Ocean, Running an Ultra Marathon across the Namibian Desert and Climbing and Flying from Mont Blanc on paragliders.

But why?

Have you ever had to make an emergency call for help? If you have, you will have been assisted by one of the many calm and courageous police officers, paramedics, fire officers and staff who dedicate their lives to keeping others safe.

Status Code 14 is a UK Police radio request call used when the sender requires an urgent call-back, help or assistance.

But what about the staff behind those emergency calls? They are routinely exposed to distressing and traumatic incidents, alongside demanding workload pressures. Stress and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is now well recognised within the military community, but the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services are increasingly falling further behind. Who is there to help them?

Team Status Code 14 want to enable those who ‘press the button’ to get the help they need both with PTSD, anxiety and depression in the short and long term. Funds raised from our challenges will go to our first chosen charity, Rock2Recovery, who support and treat those suffering with PTSD, and those individuals who may not be able to access the support they need through what’s offered by the emergency services.

Our second Charity is, The Chestnut Appeal for Men’s Health. When it comes to men’s cancer, most men don’t know what’s normal and what’s abnormal – and are afraid to ask.

This has got to change. Prostate, penile and testicular cancer can be checked and successfully treated – but checking needs to become a habit and talking about it and educating men is paramount. Team Status Code 14 want to raise awareness of men’s cancer and that a regular check could potentially save a life.

Our original motivation was wanting to complete an expedition which would well and truly push our physical and mental boundaries in a way they had not been tested before. However, the hectic nature of student life meant the row got pushed down our list of priorities. That was until a pair of tragic incidents in recent years – two friends unexpectedly took their own lives. This provided the impetus to seriously commit to the row and to raise money for MIND. The desire to honour their memory will be with us for every oar stroke across the Atlantic. It is also worth noting sibling rivalry as an important motivation behind the row! From 2017 to 2018, two school friends, Joe and Ross, tragically and unexpectedly took their own lives. Both possessed enormous, vivacious personalities which still burn brightly in the lives of their families and friends. Joe and Ross were both intelligent, confident, outgoing, devilishly good looking, and surrounded by loyal and loving friends. Nevertheless, they were afflicted by the horrific problem of mental health issues. Their experiences highlight the fact that even lives filled with love, laughter and success are not safe. Suicide is now the leading cause of death for under-35s in the UK and it is estimated that 1 in 4 people experience a mental health issue every year. We are proud to do our little bit to help fight mental health problems by completing this row. The desire to honour the memories of Joe and Ross will be with us for every oar stroke across the Atlantic Ocean. We are thrilled to have both of their families supporting our fundraising efforts for MIND.

Team: HMS Oardacious (UK)

Number: (41)
Rower: Classified
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and the Submariner Memorial Appeal
Website: hmsoardacious.com

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We are Royal Navy Submariners; having taken part in the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge we found our culture as submariners really harmonised with the extreme environment of “the World’s Toughest Row”, whether it was knowing everything there is to know about our boat, looking out for our crew mates, managing watch systems all while contending with sleep deprivation and dealing with the emotions of leaving our loved ones. Fortunately, one of the greatest strengths of the Submariner is being able to maintain a sense of humour in some of the very worst conditions. This humour really is a cornerstone to our ethos; when the sea going vessel you choose to call home for upwards of 3 months at a time chooses to sink, remaining positive and being able to laugh really is essential. HMS Oardacious are back to showcase our professionalism and adaptability as Submariners, pushing ourselves both physically and mentally. Our bodies and minds will again be tempered by the sheer vastness of the Atlantic Ocean; Neptune will again throw his fury upon our little craft and he will be met by Submariners, laughing back at him! Having previously fundraised over £100,000 in support of Mental Health initiatives, we continue to build on our legacy working with our service charity RNRMC, to provide Mental Health and Wellbeing support to our community: serving submariners, veterans and their families through life. Heritage and remembrance are also significant parts of our ethos, recognising all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country; we are therefore proud to also be supporting the Submariner Memorial Appeal to create a fitting memorial to submariners who lost their lives in the service and to the sacrifice of their families.

Team: In Our Element – Making waves for ocean pollution (UK)

Number: (40)
Rower: Hollie Luff, Mike Hatch, Rachel Lasham & Elliot Holman
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: The University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Enzyme Innovation to Revolutionise Plastic Use

Website: inourelement.co.uk

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In our Element Logo

In Our Element are joining forces with The University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Enzyme Innovation. We aim to raise awareness and funds for its pioneering research programme which could evolutionise plastic use and help reduce the scourge of ocean plastic pollution.  The University of Portsmouth’s team is developing enzymes that can break down man made plastic materials, returning them back to their original building blocks and providing the potential for infinite plastics recycling

Team: Raring to Row (UK)

Number: (39)
Rower: Gemma Best, Helen Stone Ward, Kevin Watkins & 1TBC
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Action Medical Research for Children
Website: raringtorow.com

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As a mixed team of four, we have mixed reasons for wanting to do the row. Gemma, our seasoned Ocean Rower completed TWAC ’20 in a team of four. She’s seeking to set a record for the first woman to row the TWAC twice. There is competition though for this record in 2022 – it’s going to make things interesting. Kevin sadly had to pull out of TWAC’21 due to family commitments, but he’s now 100% committed to 2022. He’s the teams’ Royal Navy Veteran and his engineering skills will no doubt come to the fore during the crossing.  In all honesty, the team assembled through chance, you might say fate brought them together, but they’re under no illusion that grit, determination, compassion and chutzpah will see them and the boat ready and signed off at La Gomera – Raring to Row. Across the UK, thousands of families are dealing with the devastating fact that their child has a rare disease for which there is no cure. Research into rare diseases in childhood is woefully unfunded leaving families without any hope. This is beyond comprehension. Action Medical Research actively fund research into rare disease in childhood. The team are Raring to Row to give genuine hope to children and families affected by rare diseases and where hope so sadly has been lost, a lasting legacy.

Team: Ocean Dadventure (UK)

Number: (38)
Rower: Matt Garman, Neil Furminger, James Reid and Steve Woolley
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Wolo Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK
Website: oceandadventure.com

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We’re a team of 4 Dads seeking to inspire and show people that life begins at 40 (or even 50!!). Some of our friends and family think we’re having a mid-life crisis by investing in an ocean rowing boat instead of other ‘boy’s toys’. We’re out to show the world that at our age, there’s more to life than pipes and slippers, and a ‘middle aged spread’ is not mandatory. Between us we’ve competed at CrossFit games, climbed mountains, finished Ironman events and competed at endurance swimming events. We’ll be raising money for 2 charities very close to our hearts: Wolo Foundation in Sussex, England that helps support families affected by cancer, and Prostate Cancer UK, raising awareness for a disease that affects so many men of our age.

Team: Row Hard or Go Home (IRL)

Number: (37)
Rower: Gearóid Ó Briain, Oisín Mcgrath, Eugene Mohan, Frank Mohan
Country: Ireland
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Coming Soon!
Website: rowhardorgohome.com

We are two teams of friends who are always setting challenges where we can compete with each other in all-out battle for bragging rights. The Atlantic Ocean is a little more extreme than we are used to but we can’t wait to race across the ocean to settle the score for good!

Team: Atlantic Guardsman (UK)

Number: (36)
Rower: Max Lawrence, John Ford and 2 TBC
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: The Scots Guards Charity
Website: atlanticguardsman.com

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We are all current serving members of the Scots Guards, both Officers and soldiers. Having previously completed the 2019 Challenge, Atlantic Guardsman is back with a fresh crew, eager to rule the waves and experience possibly the hardest way to enjoy a holiday in Antigua. Whilst not experienced Ocean rowers, as Scots Guardsmen we are no stranger to many of the challenges rowing the Atlantic will throw at us: austere living conditions, sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion and the joys of eating rations are all in a days work for infantry soldiers. We relish the challenge of pushing ourselves physically and mentally, however there is a much greater purpose to Atlantic Guardsman. Our passion to support serving and veteran soldiers is the primary motivator for entering the race, and at the very heart of our drive and determination to raise sponsorship and awareness for our service charity – the Scots Guards Charity. Our Charity has a vision that all soldiers, veterans and their families should have the opportunity to avoid hardship and enjoy independence with dignity. It provides immediate, critical and often life-changing support to those in need and their families, serving or retired.

Team: Ocean Spirit (SUI)

Number: (35)
Rower: Tatiana Baltensperger, Tamara Vogt, Selina Vogt-rūtti & Levin Baltensperger
Country: Switzerland
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: Fondation Les Perce-Neige
Website: en.theoceanspirit.ch

The Swiss national flag

Hailing from the landlocked nation of Switzerland, the spirit of the Ocean came calling down the river Rhine into its many lakes and rivers. This spirited team of water afficionados are all well versed in the kingdom of the sea. From scuba diving the seven seas to riding the waves during kitesurfing expeditions, these water fanatics have answered the call to live this adventure of a lifetime. Under the stewardship of Tati, who completed the challenge in 2019, they are fighting for the cause of the Perce-Neige Foundation. An association that helps people with disabilities gain their independence through professional and personal development initiatives. The team comprises of Levin, the Strong spirit, with Thor like complexion, will be sure to keep Loki at bay during the journey. Selina, the Action spirit, never hesitates to dive courageously headfirst into a new challenge. Bringing her wisdom and experience to the team, Tati, the Master spirit, will be the team’s compass and help it navigate the various obstacles that Poseidon will put in its path. With her youth and relentless sense of opportunity, Tammy, the Optimistic spirit, shines a light in the most obscure places of the ocean like a Lighthouse shimmering its light for safe passage.

Team: This Way Up! (UK)

Number: (34)
Rower: Edward Ogden, Oliver Browne, Darren Saunders & Tom Newman
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Mind & Macmillan
Website: teamthiswayup.com

Union Jack

Ollie and Ed met on a coral conservation project in the Philippines, in the year 2000 when they were eighteen and have remained close friends ever since. At the start of 2020 with only a few crude WhatsApp messages going around about Covid 19, Ed broached the idea of doing the TWAC with Ollie but it was laid to rest whilst both of them focused on real life. As the UK moved into lockdown, feelings must have changed as he was on board 100%, which was great because our twosome, became a foursome very quickly. Ollie and Darren met in the South of France through Darren’s work and it soon became apparent that Darren was an avid sailor and a fan of all things endurance related. Once the decision was made to put a team together for TWAC, the call to Darren was the first made. Finally, Tom came aboard, who Ollie knew from his University days. Tom is an experienced endurance triathlete who has completed several Full, Half Ironman’s and even a dirty double!; he is completing the team after securing the time off from his day job as a fund manager. All of us have become a team unit quite quickly and cannot wait for TWAC 2022 to kick off. In the meantime we will be working hard to raise money for two charities that were easy to select after a brainstorming session. We all feel and with first-hand experience that cancer can cause so much damage not only to the sufferers but their families as well, so we chose Macmillan as a charity we would like to represent. Furthermore we all felt that Mental Health was an area that still needs more representation and funding, especially with the year just gone so we chose Mind as a second charity.

Team: Atlantic Girls (UK)

Number: (33)
Rower: Katy Wetz, Laura-jayne Pattinson, Francesca Tuck, Millie Frith
Country: UK
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: The Brain Tumour Charity
Website: theatlanticgirls.co.uk

Union Jack

It’s hard to explain the ‘why’. It’s usually the first thing people ask and still we don’t know. It’s not something that we’ve found the words to explain – it’s more of a feeling, a need or a desire to do something that not many have done before, to test ourselves beyond what we might perceive we’re capable of. In doing so, in taking such big steps outside of our comfort zones, to take on an ocean, we hope to learn something about ourselves and bring back something incredible to our lives and to those around us.
This team have rowing in their blood, a sport we all found as young people, at a time when you should be able to look forward to the future. Through all too personal connections this team know that brain tumours can limit that future. They know that brain tumours do not discriminate – they can afflict the very young to the very old and for some of us this meant seeing our twenty-something year old friends suffer through some of the hardest of times. This charity is small but the work they do is unquestionably huge. We’d like to support their integral work with the vision of doubling the survival rate by 2025 so that more young people get a second chance at their life. So for us, who we should row 3000 miles across an ocean for really was a no-brainer!

Team: Strokes 4 Blokes (UK)

Number: (32)
Rower: Jean-claude Vacassin, Steve Mellor, Daniel Vacassin & John Clark
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Calm
Website: strokes4blokes.com

Union Jack

We chose the TWAC for two reasons. One, its a bucket-list line for all of us, something that we have talked, laughed, joked, and threatened to do, many-a-time. It also represents both a physical and mental challenge, something that we all wanted to embrace. So, here we are. Daft sods that we are.

We want to open the conversation about mental health, particularly amongst men. We are all fathers, brothers, team-mates, colleagues and friends, with those who need support at times. Us too – we’ve all been there. And we want to help promote this in a way that feels natural, ‘over a pint’, rather than medicalised and taboo. CALM are championing this and doing amazing work to support those who need it.

Team: Ocean Cats (ESP)

Number: (31)
Rower: Joaquim Planells, Martí Ramírez, Sergi Franch & Juanba Romero
Country: Spain
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Surfrider Foundation Europe
Website: oceancats.org

Bring together four rowing lovers, each one with their pluses and minuses, working together to carry out this wonderful project, which of course, will change our lives and the way we understand it. The ocean has given us great moments in our lives, many hours of rowing, good company and wonderful landscapes. Despite this, we have seen how the quality of the water was getting worse, finding large pieces of plastic floating in the water. Our interest goes beyond raising money for the charity, as we actively collaborate with them and the University of Barcelona to carry out scientific microplastics sampling. We do these samplings regularly in the Mediterranean and we will also do them in our crossing of the Atlantic!

Team: The Friendship (UK)

Number: (30)
Rower: Jack Friend, Hamish Friend, Arthur Friend, Euan Friend
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Kiwoko Hospital, Uganda & Chat
Website: thefriendshipatlantic.com

Dummy Image

We are the Friend brothers. Two sets of twins from Devon only 18 months apart in age. We are taking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge with the aim of becoming the first four brothers to row across any ocean. This challenge will test the bonds of brothership to the extreme and gives us an exciting opportunity to raise money and awareness for three fantastic charities close to our hearts.

Each of our selected charities has close personal connections to us;

We have seen first hand the impact Drive Forward has on young care leavers through Jack’s work for the charity and through all of us looking to support their work in training as mentors.

CHAT provides a vital service for those struggling with housing issues in Mid Devon, the local community in which we all grew up. They provide much needed first line support and advice to keep people at risk in their accommodation or help them back into homes. CHAT also offer debt and money advice and run a foodbank.

We have all personally witnessed the incredible work that Kiwoko Hospital carry out. Kiwoko manages to stretch funds and resources to the furthest possible lengths in treating the poorest communities in the Luwero region of central Uganda.

Team: Shut Up and Row (USA)

Number: (29)
Rower: Brian Nicholson, James Hein, Brian Chontosh & Chriss Smith
Country: USA
Boat Design: R45
Charity: 5Gyres
Website: Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Team: Nedurance (NL)

Number: (28)
Rower: Ilja Kok, Marcel Ates, Ingeborg Dijkstra & Guus Koppes
Country: Netherlands
Boat Design: R45
Charity: The Ocean Cleanup
Website: nedurance.com

The Dutch national flag

Wind, water and wide-open spaces have continuously shaped The Netherlands and its history. To its Dutch inhabitants, water has always been both friend and foe. As a mixed team of 4 Dutch rowers we – team NEDurance – are eager to further explore these elements by participating in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 2022. Confidence, humor and endurance embody the essence of our team, and it’s this spirit that will lead us to set off in December 2022.

By crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat, we will be raising funds for The Ocean CleanUp. Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans, of which the majority spills out from rivers. A portion of this plastic travels to ocean garbage patches, getting caught in a vortex of circulating currents. If no action is taken, the plastic will increasingly impact our ecosystems, health, and economies. The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, is developing and scaling technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Their aim is to put themselves out of business once the oceans are clean.

We strongly believe in our capabilities to contribute to the completion of one of the most ambitious engineering projects of this generation. Therefore, our aim is to help the hardworking team from The Ocean CleanUp to make our planet a better place to live.

Ingeborg Dijkstra – Marcel Ates – Guus Koppes – Ilja Kok

Team: Team Emotive (UK)

Number: (27)
Rower: Garreth Murrell, Jason Watkin, Chris Harvey & 1 Tbc
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Veterans at Ease & Veterans Adventure Experiences
Website: veteransadventureexpeditions.com

Union Jack

Coming Soon!

Team: Rowmodels (DK)

Number: (TBC)
Rower: Linnea Moos, Marie Adserballe, Camilla Tvernø & Anne-Marie Feilberg
Country: Denmark
Boat Design: R45
Charity: TBC
Website: rowmodels.dk

A picture of team Rowmodels, a ladies four from TWAC 2022

Why would you put yourself in a boat and row across the Atlantic Ocean? Basically, it is a feeling but essentially it is about setting goals, the team, and your mind to accomplish an experience of a lifetime.

We are all someone’s role model and with this adventure we want to show the importance of following your dreams and taking the challenge – setting yourself up for something bigger and doing it.

Team: Fight Oar Die (USA)

Number: (TBC)
Rower: Chad Miller, Nicholas Rahn, Tommy Hester, and Will Janssen
Country: USA
Boat Design: Spindrift
Charity: Fight Oar Die
Website: usvetrow.org

Fight Oar Die
The Fight Oar Die Team 2022 is four Veterans that all served and deployed together in the U.S. Air Force as Security Forces members.  We are proud to be the first all U.S. Air Force team and our priority is to bring awareness to Veterans Suicide and Veteran PTSD, while inspiring others to go out and “row their own Ocean.”  As a team, we believe that there are a few things that Veterans yearn for after military service: a sense of purpose, a brotherhood or camaraderie, and an adventure to pursue.  Our ocean crossing will be an example for other Veterans, and civilians, that even though there will be tough times, surround yourself with the right people, and with their help, anything is achievable.  Fight Oar Die raises awareness for Veteran issues, and at the same time offers Mental Health First Aid classes for anyone that is interested in learning how to help others when they need assistance. Together our team will be prepared to face whatever comes our way to ensure our mission gets completed.

Fives

Row Harder or Go Home (IRL)
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Atlantic Body and Soul (SCT)
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Team: Row Harder or Go Home (IRL)

Number: (46)
Rower: Tom Nolan, Diarmuid Ó Briain, Shane Culleton, Dan Buckley, Derek Mcmullen
Country: Ireland
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Coming Soon!
Website: rowhardorgohome.com

We are two teams of friends who are always setting challenges where we can compete with each other in all-out battle for bragging rights. The Atlantic Ocean is a little more extreme than we are used to but we can’t wait to race across the ocean to settle the score for good!

Team: Atlantic Body and Soul (SCT)

Number: (47)
Rower: Cal MacAninch, Alec Martin, Ed van der Ven, Sean Wattens & Matthew Callis
Country: Scotland
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Body and Soul
Website: atlanticbodyandsoul.com

Cal MacAninch has been a familiar face on British television for thirty years with shows ranging from Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and more recently Time, Vigil and Trigger Point. Having spent a lifetime pretending to do things, he is now taking up the challenge to row the Atlantic, (that’s right, no stuntmen). It’s all getting a bit ‘real’. In saying that, he has run the Ben Nevis race, 3 marathons  and has climbed the Old Man of Hoy amongst other peaks but this is by far his greatest challenge. What’s the worst that could happen! At least if he gets taken by a shark it will do wonders for his back catalogue.

And who better to face this challenge with than four comrades from the same coastal rowing club who he has gotten to know and trust over the last five years. Experienced, talented, committed crew mates, who you can trust with your life, though not necessarily to buy the next round. A builder, a joiner, a site manager, a company director and an actor- we all live in Portobello in Edinburgh and train with and compete for Eastern Amateur Coastal Rowing Club. Our ethos as a club is simple: to create a supportive atmosphere which encourages learning, development and opportunity for all to achieve their potential; to engender a collective responsibility to care for the boat, promoting integrity on and off the water in a spirit of trust and transparency while aspiring to the success of personal/ team development and competition wins. These values we will be bringing to our Atlantic crossing together.

And we are blessed to have found the charity Body and Soul to accompany us on this journey. A charity that can transform the lives of people who have experienced childhood trauma. Including hundreds of young people each year saved from feeling suicidal, giving them reasons to live. Twenty five years of demonstrating the power of community, love, kindness and bravery. It’s never to late to heal! With so many people’s mental health battered by the raging storm of this pandemic it is fitting that Body and Soul are there to build resilience and overcome adversity: the very qualities that our crew will require on our voyage.

The truly brave ones are the ones struggling to overcome childhood trauma. By taking on this challenge of crossing the Atlantic we will be able to empower Body and Soul to continue to do their essential work with those who need it most. For them, we will never give up.