TheYachtMarket's Ultimate Competition - Enter Here.

Ocean Brothers - Rowing the Atlantic - 2018

Post by: Dee White
19 October 2017

 

 

Many people set themselves challenges to raise money. Many people decide they want to cross the Atlantic for one reason or another. This is the story of two very special young men, Jude and Greg, who, as the team “Ocean Brothers”, will set off in January 2018 to row across the Atlantic to raise money for the British Skin Foundation.

Why?

The brothers’ late father and stepfather, Pete, passed away in August 2015, when Jude was only 16, after an arduous 16 year long battle with skin cancer. A year after his death the brothers made a decision to cross the second largest ocean in the world, to raise money for skin cancer research.

Who?

Pete Massey was an adventurer who had an affinity with the sea. He was a keen fisherman and windsurfer in his twenties and thirties, owning his own boat on which he took out family and friends. He took Jude and Greg out regularly and the two grew to love the sea as much as he did.

At the age of 49, Pete was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. He underwent a small operation, but as time progressed he required more and more operations to remove pieces of tissue from the affected area, which left him disfigured and eventually he lost his eye. Unfortunately the cancer grew back more aggressively, entering his skull, but Pete fought to the end, not only against the cancer, but against the stigma of facial disfigurement. During the whole of his illness he was supported by the love of his family and friends.

Greg Bailey (Pete’s stepson) is 26 years old and has had a love of adventure and exploring all his life. At the age of 13 he became the youngest person to summit Mt Blanc. In his early twenties he took part in surfing and free diving and professionally he trained and worked as a ski and rock climbing instructor and became a qualified Mountain Leader.

In 2014 Greg qualified as a junior doctor and now practices medicine in accident and emergency.

Jude Massey (Pete’s son) is 17 and has lived next to the sea all his life, in Lymington, Hampshire. He learnt to sail at the age of 8 and has worked his way up to performing at international level in the 420 class.

He is training as a sailing and ski instructor in order to start a future career in the outdoors.

Greg and Jude are committed to continuing Pete’s courageous battle, taking it across 3,000 miles of ocean from the Canaries to the Caribbean.

Where and How?

The brothers’ journey will begin in Gran Canaria in January 2018, from where they will row day and night for between 6 – 11 weeks, swapping for one hour shifts each, until they arrive in Barbados. They will rely on solar panels to power the water-maker which will provide them with vital drinking water and the means to rehydrate their freeze-dried meals. Their voyage will be aided by the Canary Current, a body of water moving from West Africa to the Caribbean and fed off the Gulf Steam. If conditions become too rough to row the brothers have a para-anchor on board. This is a submersible, parachute-shaped piece of equipment, which will keep the boat pointing into the waves and reduce the likelihood of capsize, while they stay in the watertight cabin.

Once they have set off from the Canaries they will be at the mercy of the elements, potential hurricanes, capsizes, electrical failure, equipment breakages, large vessels, marine life, injury and seasickness. Added to this is the psychological trauma of being alone in the Atlantic, miles from civilization and help and the physical strain of weeks of non-stop rowing.

12 months of arduous training precede a challenge such as this. Their trainer, ex-ocean rower Angus Collins, has constructed a gruelling training programme which will help them to propel their boat for over 3000 miles, expending more calories than they consume.

The Boat 

The boat which will take the brothers across the Atlantic is built by “Rannoch Adventure”, the dream child of founder and director Charlie Pitcher. Charlie’s passion for sea going adventure and ocean rowing started early in his life. He built his first dinghy at the age of 12, going on to qualify as a master carpenter and joiner. As a youngster he competed in the America’s Cup and twice won the Admiral’s Cup. In 2009 he won the Trans-Atlantic Race in his own boat JJ and the following year he set the solo world record. In 2013 he smashed the world record for the fastest un-assisted solo crossing of the Atlantic by almost 6 days. Both Atlantic crossings were completed in Rannoch designs.

The boat the brothers will use for their adventure has been designed primarily for speed, but also taking comfort into account. The main cabin is well forward which helps the boat self-right faster and more effectively than any other production boat on the market. It is wider in the forward section of the hull and placing the main cabin here enhances its buoyancy, as well as protecting the rowers from headwinds, providing a good aerodynamic profile and easier control downwind. It also has a centre plate to aid straight line tracking. The boat will be equipped with a water maker, solar panels to provide electricity, GPS for communication with the base team and radar to alert nearby vessels of their location.

Some statistics   

While over 5500 individuals have climbed Mount Everest and 536 individuals have been into space, only 317 crews have successfully rowed across the Atlantic. 153 crews have been unsuccessful and 6 crews have died in the attempt.

Track the Journey 

We hope to track the brothers’ journey and keep a record of their progress – so watch this space and if you feel moved to sponsor them in their challenge follow the link below.

Visit the Ocean Brothers website to find out more.