Atlantic row being used to inspire the next generation!

‘Education, education, education’… (who remembers that?) could be the adopted mantra of the ‘Lessons From A Boat’ ocean rowing team who will embark on the challenge of a lifetime this December as they attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean as part of the ‘World’s Toughest Row’.

This remarkable annual event has some formidable statistics with crews rowing in excess of 1.5 million oar strokes and consuming in excess of 1 million calories over the 3000 mile passage. The oarsmen will share a tiny space as they make their self-righting Rannoch 45 ocean rowing boat an aquatic home for weeks on end. The teams in the event will be desperately hoping for steady NE trade winds and following seas as they row from the Canary Islands to Antigua.

The event itself has its roots in the 1960s when an inexperienced Chay Blyth and John Ridgeway made the North Atlantic crossing in a 20ft open ‘dory’. It was two Norwegians, however, who made the inaugural and pioneering crossing at the end of the 19th century. The boats and safety equipment have been transformed since then but the scale of the challenge remains the same for those who take on mother nature in this way.

Jon and Steve, both teachers, want to use this unique opportunity to teach ‘real’ lessons and encourage young people to ‘get out of their comfort zone’. Dan, a successful business leader from Cornwall, is passionate about sharing his lessons, in collaboration with Plymouth university, on the environment. Jason, as a medical professional, is seeking to share important messages on health and in particular, the use of some clever technology to support better diet and wellbeing.

The countless ‘lessons’ started for the team, however, on the day they signed up and this has recently included a seven day intensive training programme covering: VHF radio; first aid; ocean navigation; and survival at sea. The World’s Toughest Row organisers have very high standards and the crew must log at least 120 hours ‘on the water’ and demonstrate their capacity to stay safe and handle the kind of eventualities they will face. The team are based in beautiful Chichester Harbour, courtesy of Premier Marinas, and will use this to their advantage as they promote their cause and train in the Solent and beyond.

The opportunity for fundraising will not be missed and the men have chosen Diabetes UK and The Final Straw as their adopted charities.

The competition has a huge media presence so represents an attractive proposition for organisations to align themselves with this premier adventure challenge. The team has secured some great sponsors but would still welcome the opportunity to talk to any business or individual who may like to support the Lessons From A Boat cause.

Instagram: #lessonsfromaboat

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