Friday January 15, 2016

We were delighted to be approached by Olly Clark, one half of the Atlantic Challenge team, who knew us from our work helping the armed forces to reclaim overpaid tax and our support of ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.

RIFT Trans Atlantic Challenge

We were more than happy to become one of their main sponsors and to help them achieve their goal of raising £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK and ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity.

Right now, Olly and his rowing partner Dan Parsons are around halfway through their epic journey of rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic as part of the Talisker Atlantic Challenge – also known as ‘The World’s Toughest Row’ – and are well on the way to raising an incredible amount for charity.

We’ve been following them avidly and with some trepidation – and it’s been a hair-raising journey so far.

After a delayed start due to bad weather, Team Atlantic Challenge set sail on 20th December, leaving behind the sunshine of the Canary Islands for the great unknown.

In that time, they’ve battled on – often without power, an auto-helm or water.

  • They’ve forgone Christmas turkey and treats in favour of an even more calorific diet – essential to maintaining energy and mood stability – that has spaghetti, museli, prawn curry, chocolate pudding pasta, paella and a lot of snacks on the menu! That’s all to produce the astonishing 6,000 – 8,000 calories needed for rowing each day.
  • On Christmas Eve, the boys had long lost sight of land and fatigue was already setting in, that was after Olly caught a fish, spotted and a Humpback whale and Dan saw a Blue whale .
  • Christmas day the boys had a close encounter with a huge cargo ship called the Santa Paula – so technically they were visited by Santa. They’d settled in to their 2 hours on, 2 hours off pattern and were making good headway in a westerly direction. They’re also battling the physical challenges and managing not to capsize - which is a frequent hazard.
  • Less than 10 days in and the boys were up against strange currents and hallucinations induced by lack of sleep. They’ve faced technical challenges and broken the charging cable for their music speaker – which meant the prospect of a very quiet journey ahead!
  • On New Year’s Eve, Olly and Dan lost their auto-helm and secondary power – but managed to retain their sense of humour even when a freak wave filled the stern cabin. Even though they’re still rationing power and having to hand steer, Dan fixed their music player and so it’s not all bad!
  • Over the last week and more the boys recovered quickly from a capsize at dusk caused by a wave that twisted the boat 90 degrees, left Dan lying on the cabin roof and threw Olly overboard. Olly also relished the opportunity to clean the bottom of the boat – which involves diving into the water to face the dangers of Atlantic sharks!

It really has been an incredible journey so far and we are amazed and astounded at how well the boys are progressing.

Our Commercial Director, Bradley Post, who attended the same school as Olly is amazed by the bravery these two incredible adventurers are showing: “The team at RIFT are keen to track the progress of Team Atlantic Challenge and are excited to keep up with the progress and adventures. RIFT appreciate the incredible job our military do for our country are proud to be sponsors of Team Atlantic Challenge, especially as they are both from Kent and Olly is currently in the Royal Engineers. Plus, the boys are raising funds for the ABF, The Soldiers Charity, a cause close to our hearts.”

Go Team Atlantic Challenge!!!

You can keep up to date with the boys and their epic adventure at http://www.atlantic-row.com/

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