World Record Challenge
In January 2012 I will be setting out as part of a 6 man crew aboard the ocean rowing boat Sara G with the aim of rowing across the Atlantic in less than 32 days and in doing so set a new world record. The team has been assembled by skipper Matt Craughwell, currently the holder of two world records.
Our team was selected on a competitive basis after several rounds of sea trials which took place throughout 2011. The team has all the qualities needed to break the world record.
Skipper Matt Craughwell brings the experience of three former Atlantic expeditions and holds two Guinness World Records.
Mark Beaumont, holds the world record for circumnavigating the globe by bicycle and has also recently completed a rowing expedition to the North Pole. He has also featured in a BBC documentary The Man Who Cycled the Americas.
Yaacov Mutnikas is a club level rower and also brings vast nautical experience as a Master Mariner and has recently completed the first ever rowing expedition of the Zambezi River in Africa.
Ian Rowe, Simon Brown and myself bring vast experience as competitive racing rowers and have all competed at a high level internationally or at Henley Regatta.
Ocean rowing is still a relatively new adventure sport and as it stands more people have successfully climbed Mount Everest than have completed an ocean row. The first ever ocean row took place in 1896 when two Norwegians, George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelson crossed the north Atlantic in a open hull boat from Manhattan, New York to Le Havre in France in just 55 days, their record stood for almost a century. Over the last 10-15 years ocean rowing has become increasingly popular with rowers trying various new challenges. Within the ocean rowing community crossing the Atlantic from East to West remains the Blue Riband event – and that is exactly what we’ll be doing!
We will be setting out from Agadir in Morocco and follow what’s known as the Columbus route, west-bound across the mid-Atlantic to Port St Charles in Barbados covering a total distance of 3,000 nautical miles.
Our boat, Sara G, is 11.1m long with a 1.8m beam. She was built with three sculling positions on the deck - 3 rowing while 3 rest. The forward cabin sleeps 2 (1 at any one time apart from storm conditions) and the rear cabin will sleep 4 (2 at any one time apart from storm conditions). The hull is made of Duflex.
Because our crossing will be unsupported, Sara G, will not only carry 6 rowers but will also be fully laden with provisions to last 50-60 days. We will make drinking water from sea water using a desalination machine – one of the most vital pieces of equipment on board. The boat will is equipped with high tech communications equipment and a large inventory of safety equipment. All electrical equipment will be powered by two batteries charged by 6 solar panels making the boat 100% environmentally friendly.
In order for us to make the world record a real possibility we will need to keep Sara G moving continuously with everyone rowing in shifts of 2 hours on 2 hours off continuously for over a month. Life on board will be tough – we will all need to learn to manage sleep deprivation and fatigue while maintaining a positive attitude pushing towards our goal – reaching the other side!