MDL’s Brixham Marina is pleased to be supporting one teenager with an epic challenge: 19 year old Ollie Crane is attempting to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and in doing so, enter the world record books as the youngest person ever to accomplish this feat.
Ollie, who hails from New Jersey in America, has been living and training in Brixham for the last six weeks, taking advantage of the free berthing provided by Brixham Marina to get out on the water and prepare for this monumental adventure.
Andrew Millar, Brixham Marina Manager, said: “We’re delighted to support Ollie by providing him with a free berth as what he’s aiming to do is quite remarkable and inspiring. He comes and goes at all hours, all the staff know him and wish him well. He’s become part of the team here at Brixham Marina and we’re all rooting for him!”
Ollie is taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing some 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Billed as the world’s toughest row, the challenge is expected to take around three months. Ollie will be facing a number of obstacles, including 40ft waves, capsizing, sleep deprivation, storms, saltwater sores and the risk of colliding with liners while he sleeps. Ollie also admits to getting a little seasick!
Commenting on the voyage, Ollie said: “I’m really excited, but very nervous. I’ve put in the hours of training, but I know it’s also going to be a huge mental challenge, dealing with three months of isolation and minimal human contact. For much of the crossing, I’ll be rowing naked to avoid chafing from the abrasive effect of salt water on my clothes. I’m going to miss my friends and family but I know they’ll be tracking my progress and cheering me on. I’d like to say a big thank you to Brixham Marina for their support over the last couple of months.
“I am using the challenge to highlight the work of Oceana, the largest international advocacy organisation in the world dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans on a global scale, and am hoping to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause. I’m a keen scuba diver, and have seen first-hand the devastation that climate change, over-fishing and pollution have had on our seas.”
Ollie comes from a family of adventurers. His sibling’s achievements include climbing Mount Everest, cycling across Africa and hiking from Mexico to Canada. Ollie explains: “It’s a tradition in my family to take on a project before university. I found out about the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge when I was looking online for a suitable project. I have rowed for my school for the last four years, so this seemed like the perfect fit.”
Ollie will be attempting his challenge in a 23-foot custom-built ocean rowing boat, Homeward Bound, which has made one previous crossing with a two-man crew. The boat has a solar powered water maker to convert salt water into drinking water, but Ollie will need to carry enough dehydrated food for the journey. He will need to consume some 5,000 calories per day and will row in two hour stints before sleeping for two hours. Ollie will not have a support boat, but will be closely tracked by the event organisers and will have a satellite phone for emergency communication.
To succeed, Ollie will need to accomplish what very few humans have; in fact fewer people have rowed across the Atlantic than have gone into space or climbed Mount Everest. He will be following the same route Christopher Columbus took in 1492 when he first sailed to the Americas. If he completes the crossing, he will become the youngest person ever to row an ocean, taking over the coveted record from British student Callum Gathercole, who achieved this at the age of 20 in February 2016.
To track Ollie’s row, please visit www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/race-tracker.
To learn more about Ollie’s adventure, please visit www.homeward-bound.com.