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who we are

Stuart Connacher


South Africa

Their Journey

I have had the privilege of growing up on the sea and enjoying all it has to offer, fishing, diving, surfing, but strangely enough never any paddling or rowing! About 12 odd years ago a friend suggested I look up a race in which an old friend of his fathers was competing. Turned out to be the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The concept looked crazy to me although it sparked an interest at the time. Again, around 4 years ago I attended a talk by Peter Van Kets, which was confirmation for me that I wanted to take part.

The thing is, I am very lucky to have 5 beautiful children who range from 26 to 3 months! I often lie awake at night thinking about what is left in the world to discover. Many years ago, you could gather a few crews and head off into the abyss on a journey of discovery, but no longer! Apart from space travel, which is very limited, the children of today are not really left with these challenges, and things to discover. They get a number, followed by a degree, and that is it, their future is decided!

The Challenge will allow my friend and I to discover, not only a new world out there, but ourselves, our fear, the beauty of our oceans that we humans are busy destroying and hopefully the thing that means the most to us all: living life!  This is a huge privilege.  I have knowledge of the sea, navigation, rowing and the real challenges that lie ahead, but look forward to the journey of discovery and learning.  We recently lost the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, and hopefully during our journey we can continue his legacy of putting smiles on the faces of all young South Africans.  To quote Nelson Mandela, “what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Their Charity

What is the most challenging thing you are “FACING” in your life right now? For some children it is the inability to breathe, eat or simply smile! Why am I doing this race? To give myself the opportunity to face my worst fears and in so doing allow these children to live as normal a life as possible.

Help me during my two year journey, as I prepare for the 3000 mile EPIC challenge across the Atlantic Ocean. Your donations / product sponsorships will make a difference no matter how big or small. The SMILE foundation is the reason you should become involved.

team activity

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