Archive for February, 2014

All things Crew….

Laura Penhaul By




So this last week has been an eclectic mix, from lifejackets to batteries, to clothing and training, with a few meetings thrown in for good measure!

Last week we visited one of our latest sponsors CrewSaver, heading down to their offices in Portsmouth and being fortunate enough to get a tour of the warehouse where all the magic happens.

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There’s  a big design room where all the illustrations and cadcam systems are laid out, which obviously for confidentiality I didn’t take a photo, but trust me when I say it’s an awesome big playroom for designers alike.

Then the templates get made and it’s in here that the magic happens, from stitching….. to testing the canisters and that there’s no leaks in the system…… to the final product of our jackets, the Ergofit! (Aptly named).

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We went from this, up to Nottingham to learn about all things lithium and battery related.

Johannes from Victron is an amazing sponsor and has the patience of a saint! Coming into this row and setting up the boat, I knew diddly squat about electronics and never thought we’d become electricians, love the skills you learn through this row! Anyway, after learning from past Ocean rowers experiences that the electrics always have a blip or two, we soon realised that we need to know the electrical system inside and out, so we booked onto a battery course hosted by Johannes himself from Victron.


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It took me back to physics days, watt=volt x amps and talking cathodes/ anodes and movement of positive and negative ions, who’d have thought! But it was a great day, that has got us on the road to understanding the lithium system and building our confidence in how to use it and fix it if/ when needed, onboard our boat Doris. Charlie Pitcher who has used the batteries regularly himself and installed them on other boats, is a wealth of knowledge who has also kindly gone out of his way to help us with advice which has been invaluable, thanks Charlie!


Then finally the fun bit of being a Coxless Crew member, having recently joined forces with Crew clothing, we had the great experience of going into the store to try on different clothes! Loved it! Then topped off today to receive a big parcel delivery which was like Christmas and birthdays rolled into one. Thanks to them, we now have some smart presentation wear for our meetings and there’s nothing better than a good outfit to feel professional in.


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So a great past couple of weeks, even with a few hurdles to overcome along the way,  it’s great to reflect on the positive things that make this an amazing journey and to highlight the awesome support we have behind us. Thanks to everyone and happy weekend to all! xx





SOS UK Launch



Last week saw the launch of SOS rehydrate at the popular Sweatshop store on Trump Street and we were fortunate enough to be kindly invited along by the co-owner himself James Mayo.


SOS is a new brand that was launched in America and Australia in April of last year. It caught our attention, because it is based off of medical grade oral rehydration therapy inline with the World Health Organisation strategy. For us, having a replacement that optimises fluid uptake is key, particularly when rowing for 12hours a day, whilst being exposed out in the sun and sea in heats of over 40deg, alongside times of sea sickness when hydration is fundamental.

Success has already been shown in the America’s Cup winners, Team Oracle, who used it during training and during the competition last year. Sir Ben Ainslie (fellow Cornishman I might add!) spoke very highly of SOS and how he felt it made a difference to his performance and alertness. He was so impressed that he has since bought into the company.

Fortunately for us, this meant we got to meet Sir Ben himself at the Launch


Along with his crewmates of Team Oracle last year Freddie and Kyle

For the coming couple of months, SOS and sweatshop are running a ‘grinder’ challenge, ( note: this is a piece of equipment used in sailing that applies the power to winch the sails, it’s not a type of intimate dance move!) whilst at the launch, myself and Nat set the leading female time for women to aim to beat across the country. Currently Nat is the leading female (only by 0.2 second I might add!).

Sir Ben Ainslie launches SOS Rehydrate, a new and cutting-edge electrolyte replacement drink.
(Photography courtesy of © OnEdition)

Sir Ben Ainslie launches SOS Rehydrate, a new and cutting-edge electrolyte replacement drink.
(Photography courtesy of © OnEdition)

The competition is being run across the country throughout February so check out the link to see if it’s coming near you, to win a chance to go for a sail on Ben Ainslie’s boat!


Start of 2014

Laura Penhaul By

Hi all,

So the awaited blog for the start of 2014, we apologise that this is over a month late due to all the antics we’ve been distracted with over the last month. However, New Years resolution – to write more frequent blogs and to keep you all in the loop.

So the start of the year was a busy one! Jan 4th was the first day of the London Boatshow, which we were so fortunate and thankful to the boatshow for sponsoring us with an amazing spot for our Doris to be on exhibition.

Doris looking pretty in pink :)

Doris looking pretty in pink

Considering Doris was just a shell last year, she is now a nearly fully kitted out boat ready to take on the seas! This is all thanks to our boat builder Rossiters and our supportive sponsors Some of our kind sponsors Raymarine, Victron, Solbian, International Paint, McMurdo, Marlow Ropes, Fusion Electronics, Lewmar and iCom whom all make our boat the safest she can be.

Whilst at the boatshow we also were fortunate to have gained support from some new companies, in particular we welcome Crew Saver who are kindly sponsoring our liferaft with survival pack alongside the latest technology life jackets ErgoFit Emma during a 2hr row as part of a 2hrs on: 2hrs off 12 hour row, testing out the ErgoFit jackets. We tested out the life jackets whilst we completed our 2hr on: 2hr off 12 hour row. The jackets passed the test with flying colours, with no jaffing or irritation, we didn’t even feel like we were wearing lifejackets – so that’s perfect for a 6 month row! Next test is add in some sea water.

Courtesy of The Rowing Company for the support of the ergo, the rowing machine also gave a wealth of people of all ages and abilities, to come and have a go at rowing on an ergo machine . We also ran a 200m race which got a good competitive spirit amongst families, friends, partners. We had top winners from the week:

Fastest Male:  Phil Clapp who won a HP Printer courtesy of Kamwell

Fastest Female: Sally Slack who won a Clarisonic face courtesy of Loreal

Fastest under 16’s female:  Bridget Tahourdin won a waterproof bag courtesy of Overboard

Fastest under 16’s male: Benedict Aldous won a pink overboard bag courtesy of Overboard

Random winner selected to come out on the boat with us: Martin Attfield (best prize of all!)

Alongside the rowing competition we also continued to run our ‘Buy A Mile’ campaign and successfully a further 150 names have been added to our inspiration wall to travel across the Pacific.

Thank you to everyone that came to visit our Doris and us as a team, we love talking about the row but more importantly to spread the word about our Charities that we are doing this for. Walking With the Wounded and Breast Cancer Care, are 2 charities that support the Survivors and their families. Whether someone is injured or has overcome Breast Cancer we want to show how these individuals and many others can overcome adversity and make the most of the life they have been given. 6 months of our life to be at sea is nothing to the life challenges that these survivors have had to face, so help support our row and raise the money for these amazing charities.

Our Charities