4 men, three British and one Slovenian, are taking on the Atlantic in the row of their lives to complete the 2,500 nautical mile rowing challenge from the Canary Islands to Barbados, starting in January 2012.
Ocean crossings are few and far between. Indeed more people by far have reached the summit of Mt. Everest and have been into space than have rowed across one of the Earth’s oceans. From 462 recorded port departures, 293 crews have successfully crossed an ocean. The Atlantic Ocean tests the human body to its very limits. Sleep deprivation, salt sores, and the physical extremes that the row will inflict merely scratch the surface of the issues affecting the crew.
We are setting out to achieve our dream and in doing so we are showing others they can achieve theirs. We want to raise money for our chosen charities and, at the same time, inspire, engage, and motivate Slovenian and British people not to let fear or doubt limit their potential.
The boat we will be using for the crossing, the Tušmobil, has a perfect ocean rowing record. She crossed the North Atlantic route (New York-Isles of Scilly) in 2006 and the Trade winds route (Canaries-Barbados) in 2008. She is 8.8m long and 1.8m at her widest. The boat is designed to be self-righting, meaning that the she can capsize without danger of staying in the upturned position. There are two tiny cabins that we will call home sweet home.
Marin is finishing his studies at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He first sat in a kayak at the tender age of 21 and since then hasn’t stopped paddling. In 2009 he did a solo trip around the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, and in the summer of 2010 he completed a solo expedition from Slovenia to the Greek island of Zakynthos, paddling around 800 nautical miles in one month, and in March 2011, together with Simon Osborne, they become the first people to kayak the coast of South Korea. They covered approximately 1100 km in 23 days. Marin started rowing in 2010 and is keen to embrace the new Atlantic Challenge.
Simon is an international teacher and assessor of sea kayaking and holds the highest recognised qualification in the sport in the world. He runs a business in England teaching people from all over the world how to sea kayak. In 2002 he became the youngest person to circumnavigate Great Britain and still holds this title. He circumnavigated Ireland two years later and in 2007 he attempted to circumnavigate Madagascar in a sea kayak. In March 2011 he partnered with Marin to kayak the whole of South Korea’s coast. During these expeditions he raised more than £40,000 for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in memory of his brother Mark.
Steve was born and grew up in Northern Ireland before working all over the world coaching windsurfing, kayaking, and various outdoor sports. He is now 35 and a Lecturer in Marine Sports Science at Falmouth Marine School (Cornwall College), where he also runs instructor training courses. Steve has represented England in surf kayaking at the world championships in 2007 and also in several European Championships. He is fanatical about windsurfing and also loves to surf, climb, and mountain bike. He can often be seen at the beach with his dog Tillie who goes everywhere with him in the van (alas Tillie will have to be fostered for the duration of the expedition).
Al is a seasoned adventurer. He cycled around the world, ran the Marathon des Sables, raced a yacht across the Atlantic Ocean, canoed 500 miles down the Yukon River, rowed to France with Major Phil Packer, a soldier paralysed in Iraq, walked the length of the holy Kaveri river in India, completed an unsupported crossing of Iceland by foot and packraft, and much more.
He also published 4 books and he is a great motivator that changes peoples life through adventure.