With less than 21 days to go until the start of their bid to become the fastest and youngest two man team to row 3,800 miles across the North Atlantic from New York to the UK, we have encountered arguably our greatest challenge to date.
Sam was completing a weight lifting session when he injured his back. Further checks including an MRI scan conducted by his orthopaedic consultant confirmed Sam’s worst fears. He would not be able to take part in the row this summer as part of Team Ocean Valour.
Tom and I have worked so hard to get the project this far, and for the last 2 years it has been the first and last thing I’ve thought of each day. Being told my chances of rowing this year are non-existent is a bitter pill to swallow. However, Team Ocean Valour most certainly lives on! We still need to raise money and awareness for The Brain Tumour Charity; that is after-all what we are all here for.
For the remaining team member Tom Rainey, who founded the team to row in memory of his father, Luke who died from a brain tumour in 2012, the news of Sam’s injury came as a massive blow. Tom tells what the last few weeks of uncertainty have been like for him.
When I heard the news it was extremely hard to comprehend, as I had gone from a secure and planned environment, to suddenly not knowing the future of the project which is incredibly close to my heart. Sam has been a part of Ocean Valour from the second I asked him back in 2013, and I’m devastated not to finish it with him.
After a brief period of uncertainty Tom asked a long-time friend of his from when he was part of the Team GB Laser Dingy sailing team, Lawrence Walters. Lawrence who is an experiences sailor has also spent time rowing with Tom when Sam was away earlier this year so knows the boat well. After discussing the predicament with his managers at Fraser Nash, Lawrence got the go ahead and called Tom who was already in New York City making final preparations. The team are incredibly grateful and would like to thank Lawrence’s managers at Fraser Nash for their understanding and flexibility. Tom was ecstatic about the news of having his old friend to join us as part of the team.
To have Lawrence agree to row with me at such short notice is incredible. I’m speechless! Lawrence is an incredible man fitting the role perfectly, and brings huge amounts of strength and knowledge to the team. I cannot wait to get on the ocean with him.
Lawrence was equally excited about the opportunity of a lifetime to set a new World Record and row the Atlantic.
Tom had spoken to me at the end of last year about being a reserve for either of the team so the thoughts of rowing with Ocean Valour have been there for some time, although I never thought it would happen! I am honoured to have been asked and hope I can do justice to the oar handles of Sam’s I will be taking up.
The new duo can now focus on making the final preparations to the team’s purpose built ocean row boat “Yves” when she arrives in New York in less than a week to be ready for their planned departure on 1st May