All we need to row the Atlantic is a new pair of oars

Rowing the Atlantic in 2018

  • 18.33% funded
  • £ 110.00 pledged
  • Open

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In December 2018, one ordinary woman and three ordinary men will attempt to do something extraordinary – row across the Atlantic in a 26′ x 7′ boat.

Calling themselves Heads Together and Row, this is one of the last great adventures left to humankind, and the mental and physical challenges will be a life-changing experience.

Alison Wannell from Bradford on Avon, Jeremy Reynolds from London, Justin Coleman from Leicester and Toby Gould from London will start this epic journey in The Canaries and finish it in Antigua, some 3000 miles away. It’s a journey that will take between 40 and 90 days as the crew row in pairs in two hour shifts around the clock.

Where the money will go

Before they can undertake this epic journey, they need some more oars. One new pair to be precise. Oars take a heavy battering from the huge seas the crew will encounter, and it’s a condition of the race organisers that at least one pair of oars has yet to be used in anger before the journey starts.

These things don’t come cheap, however, which is why the crew has launched this crowdfunder in the hope that people will help them raise the £600 they need to buy them and aid them getting to the start line in La Gomera in 2018.

What challenges do the team face?

This an adventure that will test the crew to the absolute limits of their physical and mental endurance. Carrying all their own food, making all their own water, with a seven foot cabin their only shelter against the elements, they will face mountainous waves, scorching temperatures and the unpredictability of one of the most dangerous oceans in the world.

They will endure immense physical hardship from rowing twelve hours a day, salt sores and living in cramped, wet conditions.

The will endure immense mental hardship from sleep deprivation, battling the vast emptiness of the Atlantic, and the close proximity of three other exhausted rowers.

Additionally, all of them have experience of mental health problems and they hope to raise awareness and understanding of mental health both before and during the crossing.

Meet The Team

Alison Wannell is 39. “Having taken up rowing at university, I have competed on and off ever since. I hope to show that involvement in sport or a team project can really help those experiencing mental health difficulties gain a focus and feel a sense of purpose again. While being on The Tideway in a small rowing boat can be very choppy and a little unnerving, this challenge is going to see that taken to the extreme. I’d like to reach Antigua by mid-February, in time for my 41st birthday!”

Jeremy Reynolds is 40. “Having spent 7 years in the British Army, I am comfortable with being cold, wet, tired and hungry. The significant mental challenge that this row represents provides a great platform to shine a spotlight on the important issue of mental health.

“I’m part of Trinity House’s rowing team (Trinity Tide) and have been part of the crew that won the Great River Race in a number of categories. Away from the water, I like cricket and am a season ticket holder for Harlequins”.

Justin Coleman is 52Rowing the Atlantic has enthralled me for many years. Having battled depression on and off during my adult life, this row is a real opportunity to raise the profile of mental health. I failed in my attempt in 2004 by treating it as a gentleman’s jape and being woefully ill prepared. After nearly dying in a cycling accident it’s time to try it again, properly.

“Away from ocean rowing, I’m a semi-professional stand up comedian and comedy promoter.”

Toby Gould is 37. I view this as a mental challenge more than a physical one. The sleep deprivation and the fear of what lies ahead all add up to the hardest mental challenge I’ve ever faced. I’ve seen how damaging it can be for people to be afraid to discuss their mental illness and I hope that through this challenge  we can help people to talk more positively about mental health.

“I am a proud member of the Trinity House rowing team. Highlights include rowing from Nieuwpoort to Ramsgate, helping to raise over £50,000 for charity.”

Heads Together and Row hope you will want to support this extraordinary feat. Thank you for reading.

For more information on us and the adventure, visit

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