‘Oardinary’ Boys Crush an Atlantic Challenge
Two not-so oardinary AMF supporters, Oli Glanville and George Randell, accomplished quite a feat early this year: rowing 3,000 miles in a very small boat.
And they didn’t just row it, they smashed it: they are now the second fastest pair in history to row the Atlantic.
Oli and George took part in the 2017 Talisker Atlantic Challenge, setting off from San Sebastian in the Canary Islands at 6am UTC on 14 December 2017. They made land in English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda at 22:01 UTC on 20 January 2018, just 37 days, 16 hours and 1 minute later.
This is an exceptionally challenging endeavor: 2 hours rowing, 2 hours rest, for a period of up to 60 days. Relentless. Non-stop. Burning 10,000 calories a day, consuming 6,000. You lose 20% of your body weight. 1.5 million oar strokes. It would require paragraphs to give even a flavour of the dedication, training, strength – both physical and mental – discomfort and pain that goes into completing a successful Atlantic Challenge. We’ll leave you to imagine it, if you can.
Oli and George chose to have two charities benefit from their pain and efforts, Alzheimer’s Research UK and AMF. They raised an extraOARdinary £26,419 for AMF, 100% of which has been used to buy 18,606 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to protect 33,500 people when they sleep at night from the bites of malaria-carrying mosquitoes that would otherwise cause severe illness, or worse. That’s the equivalent of 67 entire villages covered. These nets can be expected to save the lives of 10 to 15 people and prevent 13,000 cases of malaria.
Pretty oarsome, to say the least.
Going to Great “Lengths” with an English Channel Swim
In July, another AMF supporter took on a different water-crossing mega-challenge. It is rightly one of the iconic undertakings: 21 miles as the crow flies, you and a swimsuit and some grease to keep you a little less frozen. It requires years of training along with significant doses of courage, fitness and never-give-up attitude. You have to swim some of it in the dark, cope with the wind, tides, swells, jellyfish and possibly sea-sickness when you are close to physical and mental exhaustion. You can’t touch the support boat and are burning calories faster than you can take them in. Most failed attempts are due to people running out of stamina — physical, mental, or both.
Anna Doubell took it all on and prevailed, successfully completing her English Channel swim in 12 hours and 24 minutes! An incredible achievement. You can read Anna’s account of her experience here.
Anna also raised A$12,633 for AMF that will fund 4,676 long-lasting insecticidal nets which will protect some 8,300 people when they sleep at night. These nets can be expected to save the lives of two people and prevent several thousand cases of malaria.
Oli, George and Anna, a huge well done – and thank you.
You can read more about AMF and support their work here. You can also donate to Anna’s fundraiser here and to Oli and George’s here. Or start your own fundraiser for AMF here. (No death-defying feats required!)