Pacific Row 2016

In June 2016, Billy Taylor and Alex Flynn plan to row 2,700 miles across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness of Young Onset Parkinson's....

We did it!

On 30th Oct 2015 we successfully raised £450 with 7 supporters in 28 days

In June 2016, Billy Taylor and Alex Flynn plan 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 of 36 (


As well as raising awareness of YOPD, Billy and Alex 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 symptoms that people are diagnosed with YOPD will experience, and how to better manage these symptoms when they manifest themselves. Both the crew will be the same gender, the same age, eating the same diet and living in the same conditions. Both will be rowing in 2 hour shifts and having the same sleep patterns. With no external influences, the only difference between the two of them is that one has YOPD, the other does not. This provides the perfect environment for scientific research into Parkinson's that has never been undertaken before.



Billy and Alex will be taking part in the "Great Pacific Race" (, 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.


 24/7 Filming

In an Ocean rowing world first, we are working together with Marine Camera Solutions ( 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, who will be able to position their company logo with hyperlink in the side bar surrounding the feed. 



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.

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.(


We hope that by following Alex's example, people who have been diagnosed with a degenerative neurolgical 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.

This charity is currently going through the registration process with the Charities Commission, and 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.



The live camera feed from the boat will put us in the unique postion of being able to provide up to date footage on a day to day basis to supply to the media. The 4 on board cameras are remotely accessed by our land crew back in the UK, where they will be able to edit and distribute the footage to any third parties. The live video feed will also be show on the race organisers website. This site received over 750,000 views during the last race, and the link to the live video feed will direct them to the Pacific Row 2016 website. We conservatively estimate that our website will have in the region of 1,000,000 visits during the challenge, and the demographics for the site visitors in 2014 proved to be a well educated and affluent audience that remained on the site for an average stay of 3 minutes 51 seconds.

All video feed is also recorded in HD 24 hours a day. At this moment in time a documentary covering our participation in the race has been pitched to a well known TV channel, and has been taken to the next stage of the commissioning process. We remain hopeful that the project will be picked up, and if this happens it will be broadcast to a large audience.

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.



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