In June 2016, Billy Taylor and Alex Flynn aim to row 2,700 miles across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness of Young Onset Parkinson's disease. Alex was diagnosed with YOPD in 2008 at the age of 36 (www.alexflynn.co.uk).
We Need your help to get to the start line!
As well as raising awareness of YOPD, we are partnered with Oxford Brookes University and will be collecting unique research data to better understand the effects of exercise as a way to delay the onset of the symptoms that people who are diagnosed with YOPD will experience, and how to better manage these symptoms when they manifest themselves. Both Billy and Alex are the same age, same gender, eating the same diet and living in the same conditions. We will both be rowing in 2 hour shifts and therefore experiencing the same sleep patterns. The only difference between them is that one has Parkinson's, and the other does not. With no external influences this provided the perfect environment for scientific research, and has never been done before.
Billy and Alex will be taking part in the "Great Pacific Race" (www.newoceanwave.com), rowing a route that will see them cover over 2,400 nautical miles from Monterey Bay in California to Waikiki, Honolulu. During this time they will be completely unsupported. Everything that they need to complete the challenge will have to be stored alongside them on the 24 foot long Ocean Rowing boat. Food for 60 days (approximately 270,000 calories), a watermaker for fresh water, all their electronic equipment, solar panels to power them, spares, emergency first aid equipment, liferaft, cooking equipment, wet weather gear and clothes. All of this will have to be carefully packed and logged to ensure a fast and safe crossing.
In an Ocean rowing world first, we are working together with Marine Camera Solutions (www.marinecamerasolutions.com) to be able to provide live video streaming from the boat while at sea. This will enable us to give viewers an insight into what it is like to be taking on the Pacific with manpower alone, and provide a fantastic advertising potential for sponsors. It also allows us to have live video chats. This is something that we are taking to schools to ask them if they would like to be involved in, as we will be able to talk to students directly to answer any questions that they might have about the row (see http://www.rowpacific.com/pacific-row-schools/ for more info)
The crossing will undoubtedly throw up many challenges for team Pacific Row to overcome, the largest of these being the weather that we will encounter. Billy and Alex have an internationally renowned weather router who will be advising us on a day to day basis of the best possible course to take in order to make use of the weather systems that cross their path. However, the lads will not be able to avoid large weather systems. In last years inaugural Great Pacific Race, the final crews to cross the finish line had to remain at sea for safety reasons. A hurricane beat them to the Island of Honolulu.......
Billy Competed in the Inaugural Great Pacific Race as part of Team Battleborn, pictured above. They finished in 2nd place by just 13 hours after 45 days at sea.
BILLY TAYLOR Billy started his Ocean going experience at the age of 17, when he joined as part of a crew sailing a three masted topsail schooner from Australia to the UK. The voyage took 18 months and instilled a love of the sea that has never left him.
Upon returning to the UK, he soon soon set off again, this time to Spain, where he spent a season teaching others how to sail. The following year he bought and renovated a traditional Turkish Gulet, taking clients on charter holidays around the Datca Peninsula and Greek Islands. When there were no clients for his own boat, he would deliver yachts all over the Eastern Mediterranean.
3 years later he returned to the UK, and after searching for a career that interested him, finally settled down to become a fire fighter for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue service in 2007. He remained with OFRS until May 2014, only leaving to take part in the Inaugural Great Pacific Race as a last minute replacement on a 4 man crew. He is now a wholetime Firefighter for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
All in all, he has over 23,000 sea miles under his belt
ALEX FLYNN Alex is an accomplished global adventurer and endurance athlete. After being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's disease at the age of 36, Alex was determined that the disease would be a catalyst in his life. He decided that he would use his diagnosis as a way to show and encourage people that they can overcome adversity in life and create positive change. He went on to create his 10 million metres campaign, to raise awareness of YOPD, challenging himself to cover over 6,000 miles in recognised challenges using muscle power alone over the next 4 years. He has taken part in many ultra marathons in some of the most inhospitable locations on the planet, ran 1.457 miles from London to Rome, in 30 days (meeting the Pope after completing the course!) and traversed 3,246 miles from the west to east coast of North America using 4 disciplines, rowing, running, climbing and Kyaking. He completed this in just 35 days.(www.alexflynn.co.uk)
We hope that by following Alex's example, people who have been diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disease will be inspired to do something to challenge themselves, fight their disease and improve their quality of life for themselves and their loved ones
We are looking for sponsors to work closely with our team and help promote the message that we are trying to convey as well as benefit from their partnership with us. The race itself gains interest from a global audience, and this will give sponsors the opportunity to raise their profile and brand awareness on a global platform. It will also tick the boxes for corporate social responsibility and disability awareness policies.
The charity that we are raising money for is one that we are founder members of ourselves, and the sponsors affiliation will therefore not only be with Pacific Row 2016, but also Spotlight YOPD.
Spotlight YOPD will provide hope, information and support for all diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's disease.
SPOTLIGHT YOPD is a UK-based charity, entered onto the Register of Charities on 15 January 2016. Registered Charity Number 1165177. It's aim is to help support those living with Young Onset Parkinson's disease. The row will be covered heavily on the (soon to be launched) Spotlight YOPD website (www.spotlightyopd.org)
The crew will be available for profile/sponsorship events, providing talks, Q&A sessions and promotional events. We are heavily involved with social media promotion at present and of course linking everything with our sponsors via our social media sites and online media. When doing events for the row, time will be dedicated to bringing to the audiences mind to this world record breaking attempt, promoting our charity, the work that it does now and in the future and our partners. We are currently signed up to participate in events across the UK and USA using our challenge as a catalyst.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope that you will want to become part of this epic challenge and also provide help and relief to those living with YOPD and it's symptoms on a day to day basis. All money rasied after meeting the cost of the challenge will go directly to Spotlight YOPD.