Elaine says she’s not your typical adventurer - she’s just an ordinary woman having a mid-life epiphany!
Six years ago, had someone predicted that Elaine would hold three World Records for rowing two oceans, she would have politely suggested they go and see a doctor. But today she is incredibly proud of these achievements, which wouldn’t have been remotely possible without both the amazing crews she rowed with - two other females on the Atlantic and a mixed five on the Pacific.
Both experiences proved to her that she has just the right mindset and determination needed to step up to the GB Row Challenge, a very different prospect from rowing across an ocean.
In her spare time, she explores the hiking trails of the Brecon Beacons with her dog, and rows on the river Wye. And as the mother of an amazing 21-year-old, Elaine is proud that her son believes his middle-aged mother inspires him to attempt things he might never have thought possible. She considers that to be the greatest gift a parent can ever bestow on their child.
Neil, 62, is a retired firefighter living in Cornwall. At the age of eight, he was inspired by Tom McClean’s solo North Atlantic row. 43 years later Neil rowed away from La Gomera bound for Antigua, but had to abort the attempt after just 48 hours. Despite that, two years later, he successfully rowed across the Atlantic in 65 days.
In June 2022, Neil rowed out of Fort Lauderdale, bound for the Faroe Islands, as part of another ill-fated attempt. A week later he was airlifted to a medical centre in Daytona beach, whilst the remaining crew continued. Many weeks later, and 800 miles west of Ireland, the boat was damaged in a storm, and they too were rescued from the liferaft by a Russian tanker. The boat was found and salvaged seven months later off Norway!
In an effort to even up his success rate, in June 2023, he successfully rowed from Monterey, California, to Hawaii, as part of a mixed crew of friends in team Flyin’ Fish - despite a broken rudder.
Neil loves the sea and has rowed and raced Cornish pilot gigs for 15 years at Port Isaac. He’s also owned three sailboats and has cruised, raced and delivered yachts around the UK, Ireland and France. In 2022, he sailed from Newlyn across Biscay and from Cabo Verde Islands to Barbados.
He’s recently bought his 2015 Atlantic boat back from Ireland and is looking forward to a completely different rowing experience around Britain in 2025. The challenges will be varied, numerous and constant and he says he’s looking forward to dealing with them along with his two teammates and great friends from their Pacific row.
Sadly, Neil’s step-daughter died recently, and he is using the GB Row Challenge to raise money for a bench on the cliffs near his local beach, and any excess towards Macmillan cancer support.
He says the team’s goal, as always, is to finish, enjoy the experience and remain friends.
Andy believes in making life count. Despite having no real background in sport until later in life, he discovered a passion for fitness when he discovered the Concept 2 indoor rower. He always loved to travel and realised he could combine fitness and travel in the form of ocean rowing.
He found he was pretty good on the Concept 2, getting into the top 10 percentiles at all distances for his age and weight. He excelled at distance pieces and competed in the Crazy Bear Challenge in 2014, completing 30 half marathons in 44 days and winning after 21 days of intense effort.
Introduced to the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 2015, Andy entered as a pair and completed the gruelling 72-day crossing. Despite vowing "never again," he embarked on a Pacific crossing with four of his very best friends eight years later, becoming one of only 169 individuals to row more than one ocean.
GB Row Challenge was a natural next step for Andy. He can’t wait to leave from the iconic Tower Bridge and see the wonderful British coastline from a rowing boat with two of his best friends.
In addition to his ocean endeavours, Andy completed a TukTuk race around India with Elaine. He’s also off to Mongolia to tackle the Gobi desert on 50cc monkey bikes.
For Andy, life is all about the people and the experiences. He says life is truly like being let loose in a sweet shop - if you have the courage to say yes, why not! Let go and enjoy the ride… and scream if you want to go faster.