Chris and Lizzie are a mixed pair competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, an annual rowing race: Also known as 'The world's toughest rowing race'.
3000 miles across open water, rowing 2 hours on, 2 hours off 24 hours a day for between 50-60 days and nights depending on the conditions.
After learning to row at Worcester College, Oxford, Lizzie has gone on to become an experienced rower and regularly races in local and national events representing Walton Rowing Club. Inspired by the stories of other teams completing the Atlantic crossing, Lizzie is ready to push herself to the limit, physically and mentally, in this unique endurance event. As a teacher at Fullbrook School in Surrey, she is passionate about inspiring young people to be the best that they can be and to find within themselves the resilience to overcome whatever challenges life brings. Lizzie brings a positive ‘can-do’ attitude to everything she does and a relentless determination to succeed, combining the demands of training and campaign planning around her teaching role at Fullbrook.
A former GB triathlete and four-time Ironman, Chris also has exposure with advanced standing operating procedures serving with the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment. Previously an Aircraft Engineer, Chris is also a qualified Mountain Leader and is now working in risk management. Chris has a passion for helping, inspiring and developing others with a proven track record of fund raising on challenges such as an Everest Base Camp trek, the Devizes to Westminster 125 mile canoe race and ultra-Marathon running. He is a school ambassador, has won awards for community voluntary work and inspirers to be involved in motivational speaking, resilience and well-being training in the future alongside further inspirational charity fundraising challenges. His motivations came after a loss of a very close friend to cancer at the age of 15, continual academic struggles with severe dyslexia throughout education and an additional three year personal struggle in his late teens.
The World's Toughest Row
THE PREMIER EVENT IN OCEAN ROWING – A CHALLENGE THAT WILL TAKE YOU MORE THAN 3000 MILES WEST FROM SAN SEBASTIAN IN LA GOMERA, CANARY ISLANDS (28ON 18OW) TO NELSON’S DOCKYARD ENGLISH HARBOUR, ANTIGUA & BARBUDA (17ON 61OW). THE ANNUAL RACE BEGINS IN EARLY DECEMBER, WITH UP TO 30 TEAMS PARTICIPATING FROM AROUND THE WORLD. THE RACE STRUCTURE BRINGS TOGETHER AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE TEAMS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE GATHER IN THE RACE VILLAGE SAN SEBASTIAN IN LA GOMERA, CANARY ISLANDS. THE ATMOSPHERE IS ELECTRIC AS PEOPLE HELP EACH OTHER PREPARE FOR THE CHALLENGE OF THE MIGHTY ATLANTIC OCEAN. ALL WITH THE SAME OBJECTIVE – TO TAKE ON THE UNIQUE EXPERIENCE OF CROSSING AN OCEAN IN A ROWING BOAT. THE PARTY ATMOSPHERE CREATES STRONG FRIENDSHIPS AND COMPETIVENESS GIVES WAY TO COMMARADERY THAT WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE EVENT.
BUT DOWN TO THE SERIOUS BUSINESS OF ROWING AN OCEAN. FROM THE SUNSETS AND SUNRISES TO THE WILDLIFE THAT WILL BE ENCOUNTERED FIRST HAND – THE RACE OFFERS DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES TO ALL THOSE INVOLVED. BOATS ARE SEVEN METERS LONG AND JUST UNDER TWO METRES WIDE, WITH ONLY A SMALL CABIN FOR PROTECTION AGAINST STORMS. ALL BOATS ARE EQUIPPED AT THE RACE START, AND CANNOT TAKE ANY REPAIR, HELP OR FOOD AND WATER DURING THE CROSSING. THERE IS A CONSTANT BATTLE OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION, SALT SORES AND THE PHYSICAL EXTREMES THAT THE ROW WILL INFLICT. ONCE THE SAFE HAVEN AND PARTY ATMOSPHERE OF PORT IS LEFT BEHIND – YOU ARE LEFT WITH YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, AN EXPANSE OF THE OCEAN AND THE JOB OF GETTING THE BOAT SAFELY TO THE OTHER SIDE. IT’S NOW YOUR WORLD. A BASIC EXISTENCE LEAVING BEHIND THE MEMORIES AND SMELLS OF LAND AND DEALING WITH THE EMOTIONS OF LEAVING LOVED ONES BEHIND. THE FOCUS CHANGES TO YOUR TEAMMATE, WATCH SYSTEMS AND KNOWING EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR ROWING BOAT.
YOU WILL BECOME A MEMBER OF A SMALL COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS THAT HAVE SHARED THE ADVENTURES OF AN OCEAN CROSSING. THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ENDURANCE WILL RESULT IN A LIFE CHANGING ACHIEVEMENT AND IN THE CLOSING DAYS OF THE CHALLENGE – THE EXCITEMENT OF REACHING ANTIGUA WILL BE YOUR FOREMOST THOUGHT WITH EVERY PULL OF THE OARS.
The World Record Attempt
The aim is to set a new world record, therefore we aim to complete the row in a maximum of 59 days!!
At the same time, Lizzie and Chris have each selected 2 charities to which they hope to give back a substantial sum of money. These charities are Eikon, OCD-UK, Parachute Regiment Charity and the RAF Benevolent fund.
Eikon is an award-winning Surrey based charity that has been working in the local Surrey communities for over two decades. We provide long-term support to some of the county’s most vulnerable young people. Our vision is to develop happy, thriving and resilient young adults who make a positive contribution to society.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
The Charity is set up to provide those sufferers with the nessessary help and support. Also reaserch to enhance research capabilities.
Parachute Regiment Charity
A charity which supports The Parachute Regiment through the welfare of serving soldiers and families and those affected by recent operations, and through the maintenance of its regimental efficiency, ethos, spirit and heritage.
We provide welfare assistance to serving soldiers and families to complement or fill the gaps in State provision, as well as supporting vital aspects of the Regiment’s daily life and history. This support includes funding:
- Mobility equipment and disability conversion of vehicles
- Support for mental health
- Courses to assist soldiers transition into civilian life
- Sporting equipment for wounded and Regimental teams
- Adventure Training for serving troops
- Assistance with travel and other costs on compassionate grounds
- Memorials to those who have served
RAF Benevolent Fund
The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF's leading welfare charity with a proud tradition of looking after its own. They are there for all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children.
We are looking for your sponsorship to compete in this life changing challenge and to allow us to raise a significant amount of money in the process for four very worthy and personal charities. We have so far purchased the boat and some basic equipment with our own money, but we really need a significant financial help to push us on with our campaign.