2025 Race Entrants

Solo

The Old See Dogs (UK)
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Team: The Old See Dogs (UK)

Number:
Rower: Alan Fortuin
Country: United Kingdom
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Social Media: http://www.oldseedogs.com

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To mark my 60th Birthday, in January 2019 I completed a solo bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End, over a period of 14 days, finishing on my 60th. On completion of the ride family and friends asked what challenge I would take on for my 70th, and I decided to row 7,000,000m on an indoor rowing machine in my 70th year. Then in 2021, I saw a news report about Frank Rothwell completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge at the age of 70, my thoughts then were, if he can row an ocean why cant I. I will be 66 at the end of my row, so don’t worry Frank your record is safe.

My Grandmother was blind, and since 1999, in her memory, and by conducting various endurance events, I have raised thousands of pounds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (Guide Dogs). The first UK guide dogs were trained in 1931, and in 1934 the Guide Dogs was formed. The Guide Dogs does tremendous work, breeding and training dogs, helping enable the blind and those with sight loss to conduct a normal and fulfilling life. It should be noted, that for safety reasons, those who are registered blind can not take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, however, they will be able to join me, in spirit, as part of the Old See Dogs team.

Pairs

Force Horizon (UK)
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2 Soaring High (DE)
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Stronger Twogether (UK)
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Team: Force Horizon (UK)

Number: (TBC)
Rower: Chris Ambler & Kip Wells
Country: United Kingdom
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: The Jon Egging Trust
Social Media: http://www.forcehorizon.com

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We are Team Force Horizon – Chris & Kip!

We met on day 1 of secondary school and instantly hit it off…we had a great time at school competing against each other in the house sports events, competing together in the school teams and also on the amateur rugby scene. Fitness has been a shared passion of ours and we are both keen adventurers. We have been talking for years about doing a serious challenge together, and here we are!

We have decided to compete in TWAC 2025 to support the Jon Egging Trust, who believe that every young person, no matter their starting point, should leave school armed with the confidence, resilience and self-belief to succeed.

Many of JET’s students face significant life challenges or lack positive role models. We know that with the right support, and by building teamwork, leadership and
communication skills and raising aspirations, the sky is their limit.

We aim to be a positive role model for JET, demonstrating to their students that with each Individual effort as part of a likeminded team, we can achieve incredible things. Team Force Horizon celebrates every member of the team, there is a place for everyone and everyone’s roles are important. We win as a team! When the Force Horizon boat makes it to Antigua it’s not just the 2 people in the boat that got it there…it’s the whole Force Horizon family!

We are not afraid of being out of our comfort zone, we thrive in the dark shadows of physical and mental exhaustion. We are a Force and we are heading for that horizon until we hit Antigua!

2 Soaring High (DE)

Number:
Rower: Katrin Theelen & Frank Theelen
Country: Germany
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: TBC
Social Media: http://www.2soaringhigh.com

The German National Flag

Frank has always been an adventurer and has taken on some big challenges in the past. For example, he took his SUP (stand up paddle board) from Konstanz to Duisburg (Germany) in 7 days (777km), and also paddled a SUP on the Yukon from Whitehorse to Dawson City.

Feeling the urge to look for her limits and dip her toe into the adventure water, Katrin is thrilled to cross the Atlantic with her dad.

Together, and individually, we want to explore our limits. Physically and mentally. 

Stronger Twogether (UK)

Number:
Rower: Julie Paillin-Dean & Ian Paillin-Dean
Country: United Kingdom
Boat Design: R25
Charity: LOROS & mee & dee charity
Social Media: http://www.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 and now they’re married !

Jooles is a Mum to two girls aged 12 and 8,  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, narrowboating 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 2025 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 and team skipper.

We have decided to raise money for two charities that we both feel strongly about:  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 me & dee charity providing support for families and children facing life-changing and limiting circumstances, by providing a space to celebrate the precious time they have together. Helping families going through life-changing circumstances to laugh and smile when they need it most, making sure it’s the special times that will always be remembered. Their mission statement is “To make memories when they matter most.

Trios

The Three Flying Fish (UK)
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Team: The Three Flying Fish (UK)

Number:
Rower: Anna Dunk, Rowan Dally & Matthew Busby
Country: United Kingdom
Boat Design: R45
Charity: Teenage Cancer Trust
Social Media: TBC

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In 2021, Anna’s father rowed the Atlantic as part of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. This inspired Anna, Rowan and Matt to take up the challenge and attempt to become the youngest trio to ever row the Atlantic, along with hopefully beating Dave’s time. The team all formed a friendship through the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, where Anna is a cadet, Mathew is a Corporal and Rowan is a Flight Sergeant. The challenge is sure to push each team member to their limits, mentally and physically. All the members are extremely devoted to the challenge and know its a once in a lifetime experience, something we’ll never forget.
Our Charity, Teenage Cancer Trust is very close to all of our hearts in the team, especially Rowan’s. In 2021, a friend of his in his year at school tragically passed away from cancer. This had a massive effect on his whole year. This event gave us the urge to raise money for people like his friend, so the row became a perfect way to do so. Every day, 10 young people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer. As teenagers, we want to help other kids like us to overcome cancer, by raising as much money as possible for Teenage Cancer Trust.

Fours

Merched y Môr (GB)
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Scotland The Wave (UK)
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Team: Merched y Môr (GB)

Number:
Rowers: Denise Leonard, Helen Heaton, Liz Collyer & Helledd Williams
Country: Wales
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: TBC
Social Media: TBC

Why? … To push ourselves beyond the ordinary and to inspire others, especially women, to dream bigger and believe in more.
Who are we? … We are wives, girlfriends, mothers, grandmothers, aunties and sisters who refuse to be limited by social norms. We are outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, educators and leaders who have found a mutual love for rowing (or at least we hope so!). We are Sisters of the Sea. We are Merched y Môr!

Team: Scotland The Wave (GB)

Number: (TBC)
Rower: Andrena McShane-Kerr, Fiona Deakin, Heather McCallum & Nicola Matthews
Country: UK
Boat Design: R45
Charity: SiMBA, RNLI, SCAA; Breast Cancer UK
Social Media: TBC

We are a team of 4 women spanning 4 decades in age who have come together to achieve our collective dream of rowing the Atlantic Ocean. Both Nicky and Fiona are already seasoned rower who bring experience to the team. Whereas Andrena and Heather had never rowed until recently but are eager to learn and improve during the buildup.
Each of us have our own individual reasons as to why we want to row an ocean but ultimately, we all want to push ourselves to achieve this challenge.

Each of the team have chosen a charity that is important to them and hope to raise as much as possible to split equally between these charities. SiMBA was chosen by Andrena after her and her wife lost a baby in pregnancy during lockdown. RNLI was chosen by Nicky as her dad volunteered for this charity during her childhood. SCAA was chosen by Heather as she works with Police Scotland and has first-hand experience on the importance of Air Ambulance to saving lives. Breast Cancer UK was chosen by Fiona as she has had several family members and friends suffer from this preventable disease.

Fives

Anchor Management (UK)
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Team: Anchor Management (UK)

Number:
Rower: Craig Smith, Sarah Tebbett, Sammi Woodward & Tim Hodgkinson
Country: United Kingdom
Boat Design: TBC
Charity: McMillan Cancer Support
Social Media: http://www.anchor-management.co.uk

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So why do we want to do the row? Because when you see something that excites you and scares the hell out of you at the same time it’s just got to be done.

We’ve chosen McMillan because not only are they a fantastic charity and worthy of the support but they helped both Craig & Sarah’s families during their darkest times.

Craig’s Dad had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and sadly passed away when Craig was just 19, his mum and his younger brother will be forever in their debt for the help and support that McMillan offered at that time.

And 7 years ago Sarah was diagnosed with Breast cancer, with 3 young children McMillan offered the family support whilst she underwent surgery and chemotherapy along with a year of further treatment. 

Their support helped Sarah go on to make a full recovery.