Rowing the Atlantic Ocean - Row4Victory

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 businesses.

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.

     

What followed 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.

People always 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, from Row4Victory.

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