We are rowing 3000 miles to help raise funds and awareness for victims of rape & sexual voilence, and victims of human trafficking
We hope to raise at least £20,000 each for our chosen charities - Rape Crisis England & Wales, and Sport For Freedom.
We need your help to raise £40,000 to help secure a boat for the challenge - this is the primary goal of this crowdsource. We will continue raising funds to cover food, transport and equipment.
Considered one of the worlds toughest competitions, held every two years (annually from 2016) that consists of over 20 teams aiming to be the first to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
In December 2015 we will say goodbye to land and start rowing from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, aiming to be the first to cross the finish line in Antigua. The row can take up to 90 days, with an average being around 50.
Each team will be completely self-sufficient - we will start the race with all food for the journey (except any fish we might catch en route!), solar panels for power, a water maker to filter salt from the sea and all the courage we can muster.
Rowing in 2 hour shifts, 24 hours a day SquareOneAtlantic will be making good friends with Poseidon as we battle extreme fatigue, avoid oil tankers, weather the actual storms, try and avoid whales, try and avoid Wales (it's nowhere near Antigua apparently) and quash any mutiny become the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge 2015 winners!
The team is made up of Sean Lannon, Ben Davies, Tom Hodgson & Lee Felton.
Through a mutual friend Sean was introduced to Ben, and after hearing of his adventure sailing around the south coast of Britain on his own with no previous experience, Ben was made aware of the challenge. Ben accepted.
Having known each other since working together at Camp America in 2005, Sean had been planting the idea of the great row in Lee's mind for months. Eventually the pull of being part of such a challenging project and helping raise money for our charities was too much to resist.
Tom heard about Square One Atlantic through Lee's dad from the odd shifts they had worked together as paramedics. A few emails and a phone call later and Tom was on board!
SquareOneAtlantic was born.
Sean, 31, is a Geordie from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Sean is a software engineer and in 2014 founded VennCode .Ltd
"The idea behind SquareOneAtlantic was one of never giving up - sometimes we have to accept that the only way to keep moving forward is to go back to square one.
I have always been quite active - I love to play football and squash, but have let myself go since my MoTheAtlantic training stopped. Doing things like this has always given me a kick that I need in order to train.
In the past I have cycled from Lands End to John O'Groats, and taken part in the Tough Guy challenge a few times. I'm hoping the Atlantic Row will imprint a more permanent sense of discipline and organisation that I often lack."
Ben, 26, is an electronic engineer. Based near Cirencester.
"I just love swimming and spending time in the water especially the sea, the waves just fill me with a sense of awe and wonder. So when I was approached by Sean with the opportunity to row across one of the world’s largest oceans I just had to jump on board.
I enjoy pushing myself to perform new and daunting tasks and in the last year I have completed a monster race, a tough mudder event and climbed two of the three peaks in the three peaks challenge and plan do the third in the near future, so this seemed like a great opportunity to undertake an amazing task and spend time out in the open water.”
Lee, 29 from Dudley, is a Human Phyiology teacher currently based in a High School in Dubai, UAE.
"I’ve always lead an active lifestyle and have dreamed of taking part in a challenge that will take me to my physical and mental limits. I try to live my life to the maximum and since 2012 I have completed the Tough Guy and Tough Mudder events in the UK and have just competed in the 2014 Desert Warrior challenge and 2015 Spartan race in Dubai.
I enjoy every moment; the challenge of the training, the anticipation, and of course the taking part. I had heard about the Atlantic row a few years ago and when Sean brought it up again the idea just stuck until I thought ‘let’s go for it’!.
I am very passionate about encouraging those around me to do what they really want to do and live life to the full. I will use my participation in the race to energise and motivate as many people as I can, and at the same time raise money for a good cause."
Tom, 41 from Walsall, is a Paramedic.
"I have been aware of the Talisker Atlantic Challenge for a few years, and being a lover of all things nautical (I’m a keen scuba diver and open water swimmer), I couldn’t believe my luck when Lee’s father Rob, who’s a work colleague, told me about the Square One Atlantic Team, and that they were looking for a fourth crew mate. I immediately thought I want to be part of this amazing project.
I love a challenge, and the team spirit involved in the logistics of organising and participating in such a fulfilling and exciting event. Having been part of the team responsible for the successful ‘World Record Deepest Wreck Dive’ out of Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt 2005, and other deep diving projects, I have been looking for the next big challenge to immerse myself in.
The Atlantic row will no doubt help to fulfil my seemingly relentless passion for adventure and exploration, whilst at the same time raise much needed awareness and funds for Rape Crisis England and Wales, and Sport for Freedom. Having worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service for the last 8 years I am all too aware of the importance of the work these charities do, and the support they need to continue."
The vessel they will be using is a hand built ocean rowing boat. It is just 8.5m long and slightly less than 2m wide. The rowing area is completely open, exposing the rowers to the elements for the duration of the trip. They have a small forward cabin that they will keep equipment and supplies in and a larger rear cabin which is just long enough for one of them to lie completely flat in. This rear cabin will be the living quarters and will allow one man to rest and sleep while the other 2 are rowing. In the event of a storm or if conditions prove too dangerous for someone to be out on deck then the must all squeeze into this rear cabin to try and ride out the waves. It is common for boats to be flipped in conditions such as these, but the design of the hulls is such that they self-right as long as all the water-tight hatches are properly closed. In times like these, the team are at the mercy of the weather and could very well be carried back the way they came if they are unlucky, making their journey even longer.
The boat is equipped with a GPS and VHF radio and is a fully licensed sea vessel. Lee and Ben are in the process of becoming RYA qualified skippers in order to be certified as fit to operate such equipment effectively as well as navigate their way to the correct island on the other side. Sean has already been trained to use their radio to make calls and send distress signals. He has also attained certificates in how to survive at sea including how to arm, inflate and board a life-raft and how to be found in case they have to abandon ship.
Both charities provide services and support for victims of the type of abuse often ignored or overlooked in the media - women and children who have been subjected to rape and sexual violence, and people who have been mistreated, abused and displaced from their home as a result of human trafficking.
The issues being tackled by our charities are preventable today with a shift in attitude, greater awareness of the issues and more support for the victims. There is no cure to be found or science breakthrough to be funded in order to make a difference.
SquareOneAtlantic are looking for your sponsorship to compete in this life changing event and to allow us to raise a significant amount of money in the process for two very worthy charities.
We are funding the project as much as possible and continue to raise funds in the UK and Dubai by attending and holding events. The team really need a significant financial leg up now to help us secure a boat and push on with the campaign.