Braced for the adventure of a lifetime

The team, the boat, the team manager
So just two days to go before my crew mates and I leave the UK for the Canary Islands – ready for our bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Colleagues have questioned my sanity, perhaps unaware that rowing the Atlantic in a small boat is ‘a thing’. Admittedly, more people have climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic. But it’s also part of our bid to raise awareness of stem cell research, a field of science that is saving lives and could save so many more if only people knew how important it is.

So what’s the purpose of our voyage?

What we’d love is for people to become aware of what the Stem Cell Register is, to click through and consider signing up. It’s easy, it’s safe, it can save lives and help families in terrible predicaments all over the world. You can find out more on the team website at www.werowyouregister.org

And what of our preparations? The Talisker Atlantic Challenge seemed like it was months and months away until recently when it has suddenly loomed large. Finally, all the sessions on the rowing machine, all the late nights in the gym and the endless shopping trips to buy essential items will end – and we’ll be out at sea, rowing our guts out – two hours on, two hours off, for around 40 days.

Rowing the Atlantic is something I’ve wanted to do for more than 20 years, since a fellow member of Royal Canoe Club, Jock Wishart, successfully attempted the feat back in 1997. I found the idea of the challenge irresistible. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone else to do it with – and the idea of doing it solo did not appeal. A year ago I was put in touch with a couple of men with a bold and ambitious plan – and the rest is history.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing to get to the start. Skipper Martin Beaumont had to have emergency surgery in the summer following a bicycle accident. I have had three lots of surgery on a detached retina. And team mate Hamish has had a brush with skin cancer . But we’re as ready as we’ll ever be – and we’re raring to go!

There’s a tracking device on our boat so you will be able to follow our progress in real time from December 12 here.

Please take a few minutes to sign up for the register. It’s free and easy. You could save a life! Click here for more information.