Date: Saturday April 20, 2019 at 11:28am
After 2 years
of preparation, countless hours in the gym, numerous fundraising events,
mandatory ocean-going courses, planning, calculating, weighing and waiting, we
did it. Four men representing all three branches of the UK Armed Forces and
their civilian counterparts went from total amateurs with an idea, to sitting
in their boat at the start line in La Gomera waiting for the starting horn to
blast to begin their 3000 mile race across the Atlantic Ocean, competing
against 26 other teams from across the globe, covering the UK, USA, Holland,
France, South Africa, Denmark, Antigua, Australia and New Zealand.
Just to get to
this point was an achievement, to buy the boat, rations, equipment and pay for
shipping, race fees and insurance had a cost getting on for £100,000, all of
which had to be raised from scratch through fundraising and corporate
sponsorship. With the backing of people like the British Forces Resettlement
Service and New Challenge New Beginnings and local media we were able to
recruit businesses, both local and those in support of the MOD, to join the
team and get their names and logos on the boat. So not only were we
learning new skills in Ocean navigation, communication and survival, but also
organisation, administration and negotiation with large corporates and
All this on top
of full-time jobs and busy family lives. On one hand it was a relief to finally
be at the start line, on the other we now had 3000 miles to row through unknown
weather and sea states in a boat we’d only spent 100 hours rowing on the North
Sea. All of a sudden it all got very real.
was 39 Days and 16 hours and 42 minutes of relentless, unyielding effort. We
had the privilege of occasional whale sightings, to be escorted by a pod of
dolphins, even to have a couple of sailing yachts sail by to say hello but what
endured, day in, day out was the relentless routine. Eat, sleep, row, repeat
day in, day out come hell or high water. There is no getting off this ride when
the going gets tough and it really lets you know what the human body and spirit
really are capable of.
But it is the campaign, the support from our sponsors,
the donations from those we encountered on our journey, the time given to us by
family and friends and the help provided by people like BFRS that got four men
across the Atlantic Ocean in an 8-meter boat that has blown us away. With their
backing we did it, we crossed an ocean powered only by oars, we came fifth
overall and forth in our category.
ask why? Why did you do it? Well, we did it for two amazing Charities, the
Royal British Legion and Soldier On!, so far, we have raised in excess of
£30,000 and it’s not too late to donate.
Go to Just
Giving or Virgin Money Giving and search Row4Victory and donate if you can.
Thank you all,