The Atlantic Seamen are four (mostly!) Cornish-based, middle-aged adventurers who have one enormous ambition. Together they aspire to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Exposed to the full force of the Atlantic; scorching sun, saltwater sores, sharks and passing tankers with only a 28-foot ocean rowing boat in which to take refuge. A challenge like no other.
With varied backgrounds but a common interest in adventure, the Atlantic Seamen team of Jon Davies, Alex Fawcett, Andy Grant and Andrew Berry are rowing to raise awareness and support two very important charities. The The Urology Foundation is a vital charity who raise funds to enable research into all urological diseases including prostate, kidney and bladder cancer. The Children’s Hospice Southwest who provide hospice care for children with life limiting conditions and their whole families across the southwest. The Children’s Hospice is a charity particularly close to the team as Jon’s nephew has been a patient at the hospice since birth and his family have first-hand experience of the amazing service they provide.
The idea of the Atlantic Challenge race came to Sir Chay Blyth whilst he was rowing the Atlantic Ocean in 1966 with John Ridgeway. It was a 92 day battle against hurricanes, 50 foot waves and near starvation.
”It’s no surprise then that more people have been into space, or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic. It takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation.”
Crossing the Atlantic is never an easy undertaking, but people have been making the journey for hundreds of years. The very first crossings were made to discover and explore new lands. Today, most crossings are made by huge cargo ships exporting essential commodities across the ocean. But some daring people choose to cross the Atlantic to test the limit of their physical and mental strength; to achieve something unthinkable.
The Atlantic Seamen team approached Soft Floor UK on the lookout for an EVA foam mat that would suit as an additional seat and back support on their vessel. They required a high-quality material that would withstand all the elements of the journey. It also had to non-permeable to avoid disintegration and be easy cut to shape in order to fit the profile of the rowers.
“We needed to source a quality EVA foam mat that would cope with the extreme elements during the journey.”
After advice from the Soft Floor UK team the Atlantic Rowers settled on the 40mm interlocking foam mat, usually used for martial arts mats and as exercise floor mats. These floor mats are made from high-quality 40mm EVA foam with added PE for improved flexibility, longevity and memory (keeping shape). The team were very happy to receive the floor mats and have set about cutting and shaping them as required.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge departs from La Gomera on 14 December with the finishing line at Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua. Everyone at Soft Floor UK wishes them a safe and victorious journey!
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