In May 2015 Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walters will row from New York (USA) to Salcombe (UK) across the treacherous North Atlantic Ocean entirely un-supported in order to raise £250,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity.
Meet the Team
We would like to thank Sam Coombs for all the work he did to help get Team Ocean Valour to the start line.
In May 2015 Tom Rainey and Lawrence Walters will spend up to 3 months rowing across the North Atlantic to raise £250,000 for the Brain Tumour Charity. Tom and Lawrence, as Ocean Valour, aim to become the youngest ever team to row from the mainland USA to mainland UK, and they will be entirely unsupported.
The pinnacle of ocean rowing, this trip has been attempted by 60 crews, completed by only 22 and with 5 crews lost at sea – meanwhile there have been over 5000 successful summits of Mount Everest, and, by comparison, over 170 crews have attempted the Atlantic East to West crossing with the majority succeeding.
In 2012, just before Christmas, Tom lost his father, Luke Rainey. As a passionate sailor and wonderful father he taught Tom a great deal about life, the ocean and to respect his environment. His death was due to a brain tumour and it rocked Tom and his family to the core. But, thanks to the Brain Tumour Charity they were provided with the help and advice which gave them an invaluable port in an otherwise unweatherable storm.
Having spent their lives on the sea, having represented GB sailing around the globe, and studied the marine environment at university, Tom and Lawrence have an intuitive understanding and respect for the ocean and how it is being profoundly affected by debris.
The North Atlantic garbage patch is an area of man-made marine debris. It stretches hundreds of square kilometers with over 200,000 pieces of debris per square km – plastics which never dissolve but only break down into micro-plastics which seabirds mistake for food.
Parents inadvertently feed their chicks bottle caps and lighters, mistaking them for their natural diet. Full of man made garbage, and with no room left for food, they starve to death. Worldwide, up to one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from eating plastic.
By recording the positions of this area of garbage, the pair hope to raise awareness of the state of the oceans and what can be done to save them before it is too late.
Surfers, ultra-marathon runners, international sailors, extreme white water kayakers, Tom and Lawrence know what it is to undertake an expedition, but this is their first one of this magnitude. Their endeavour is a remarkable one, It is the essence of the indomitability of the human spirit. Old school adventurers, with true grit and determination, pitted against the challenges of mother nature; waves equivalent to a 7 story building, icebergs, winds in excess of 50 mph, in freezing waters and alone on a voyage of 3,800 miles.
If successful Tom and Lawrence aim to be the youngest team to complete this remarkable voyage.