Covid-19 update

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption worldwide, and the Brain Waves challenge is no exception. Disruption continues into 2021 and the team are exceedingly disappointed, but they are now focusing their efforts on undertaking the challenge once travel to Australia is allowed, hopefully in 2022.

The 2 part Brain Waves Challenge involves rowing across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans – creating a unique environment to generate critical and invaluable research data for Parkinson’s Disease and PTSD, directly from those living with these conditions.

Part 1 complete!

Atlantic Ocean; the Canaries to the Caribbean

5th January 2020 – 22nd January 2020 Lanzarote to Cape Verde
27th January 2020 – 5th March 2020 Cape Verde to Antigua (2 NEW WORLD RECORDS)

On 5th January 2020 the Brain Waves crew – Alex Mason, Billy Taylor, Scott Butler and Liz Dennett – pushed off from Playa Blanca, Lanzarote on their bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Progress was excellent until the rudder was sheared from the boat 2 weeks into the crossing. After a dramatic rescue the successful recovery of their vessel 500 miles offshore, the crew found themselves on the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde.

After some deep soul searching by all members of the crew Liz decided she could continue no further, whilst the remaining three decided to go make the repairs, regroup, and continue on as a trio.

38 days and over a million oar strokes later this hardy crew landed on the shores of Antigua – becoming the first people in the world to complete that route.

Part 1 complete!

Atlantic Ocean; the Canaries to the Caribbean

5th January 2020 – 22nd January 2020 Lanzarote to Cape Verde
27th January 2020 – 5th March 2020 Cape Verde to Antigua (2 NEW WORLD RECORDS)

 

On 5th January 2020 the Brain Waves crew – Alex Mason, Billy Taylor, Scott Butler and Liz Dennett – pushed off from Playa Blanca, Lanzarote on their bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Progress was excellent until the rudder was sheared from the boat 2 weeks into the crossing. After a dramatic rescue the successful recovery of their vessel 500 miles offshore, the crew found themselves on the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde.

After some deep soul searching by all members of the crew Liz decided she could continue no further, whilst the remaining three decided to go make the repairs, regroup, and continue on as a trio.

38 days and over a million oar strokes later this hardy crew landed on the shores of Antigua – becoming the first people in the world to complete that route.

Part 2 – Indian Ocean; Australia to Africa

The second stage of the project will see a change to the crew. Billy and Alex will be joined by Rachel Hearn and John Haskell to take on a mainland to mainland, non-stop, unassisted crossing of the Indian Ocean, something never attempted before. Starting from Western Australia the crew will row over 5,000 miles to Mombasa on Kenya’s Swahili coast. This is an altogether bigger and more challenging crossing and will see even the most experienced members of the crew pushed to their limits.

Part 2 – Indian Ocean; Australia to Africa

The second stage of the project will see a change to the crew. Billy and Alex will be joined by Rachel Hearn and John Haskell to take on a mainland to mainland, non-stop, unassisted crossing of the Indian Ocean, something never attempted before. Starting from Western Australia the crew will row over 5,000 miles to Mombasa on Kenya’s Swahili coast. This is an altogether bigger and more challenging crossing and will see even the most experienced members of the crew pushed to their limits.

Get on board!

Corporate Sponsors 

The journey to get to the start line can be as difficult as the actual row itself and poses just as many challenges. The work that goes into the logistics and funding of the challenge is often the biggest obstacle to overcome and would simply not be possible without the help and support of sponsors.

Do you, or someone you know, own a business looking for a unique sponsorship opportunity with the benefits of advertising on an international platform? We have a range of customisable sponsor packages to suit all budgets.

Join the 100 club

Friends, Family & Individuals

To make the challenge happen we need to raise £82,000. We are inviting friends and family to become part of the 100 club by donating £100 to help us get to the start.

Member benefits include: your name on our boat, your name on our website (if you want it on there) and we will ask all 100 club members to write us a letter / postcard / story / draw us a picture (whatever you want to do) which we will open on the boat and share on social media.

Join the 250 club

Local & Small Businesses

We are inviting local and small businesses to become part of the 250 club by donating £250 to help us get to the start. You get: your company logo on the outside of the boat, mention on our social media channels and your company name and hyperlink on our website.

All donations contribute directly towards the cost of getting the crew to the start line. All money raised above this cost will be split between our charity partners.

The Brain Waves challenge is supported by:

250 Club

100 Club

Sandra Pickersgill
Philip Mason
Lee Roger
Sarah Banks
Luke Cooper-Berry
Lucinda Pickersgill
Eleanor Forbes
Simon Lee
Peter Slade
Julia Yaxley
Roger Yaxley
Jim Scullion
Sam Parker
Shirley Parker
Jackie Orange
Meredith Burns
Paddy Hatton
Guy Hatton
Alistair Hearn
Chris Nelson

Virginia Erskine
Joe Erskine
Stuart Haskell
Friendship Group
Wanda’s Warriors
Matthew Pancaldi
John Clark
Jo Bradshaw
Sandie & Graham Paisley
Dave Guthrie
Carol D’anna
Ryan O’keefe
Ken Styles
Pauline Thom
Mike McCune
Kathy Nightingale
Terence Salazar
Kian O’keefe
The Gedney Family
Lynda Mitty

Good luck from the Cooper-Berries

Luke Cooper-Berry

 

I wish Rachel, her friends and comrades all the very best in your upcoming exciting but dangerous adventure. I wish you all the very best with calm seas and fine weather. I will pray for your well being and safe arrival.

Kenneth Styles

 

A massive good luck to all the amazing members of the Brain Waves crew on your awesome challenge. Look after Alex (as you’ve pointed out, she’s only small and easily misplaced. Please don’t lose her!).😊You’re all mad, but equally awesome. GOOD LUCK 🍀

Sandra and Philip

 

Good luck to the Brain Waves team can’t wait to follow you on your amazing adventure!

Ryan O’Keefe

Good luck to Monkey Fist Adventures and the crew of the Brain Waves challenge from Wanda’s Warriors at Wanda’s Effective Fitness, Lanzarote. “Fridge pickers wear big knickers, those who stay strong wear a thong “ 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽 😊 Find your mantra and stay strong guys. Safe journey from all of us. GOOD LUCK 🍀

Wanda’s Warriors

 

People like yourselves have crazy ideas/schemes to help others and then put incredible strain on yourselves physically, emotionally and mentally to achieve these ideas. Rowing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Phenomenal and inspirational human beings.

Stuart Haskell

 

Good luck and safe journey to all the crew. Hang onto your hats and don’t let go of those oars!

Roger and Julia Yaxley

The Challenge

The crew will have to work together as a team to ensure both crossings are successful. Unsupported means just that, and they will have to deal with anything that gets thrown at them. There is no stopping and calling a specialist out to help with repairs, no popping to A&E for medical attention. Although the crew will be able to use a satellite phone to seek advice they, and they alone, will be the ones who have to deal with any and all problems they encounter. If they do get into trouble and need help it is entirely possible that they will have to wait for up to 5 days for the cavalry to arrive. Everything that they will need will have to be loaded onto the boat before they leave and once they have left there is no turning back.

BLISTERS

SHIPS

SHARKS

DEHYDRATION

The combined distance for both crossings will be in the region of 8,500 miles and during the Indian Ocean crossing they could easily find themselves out on the water and having to be self reliant for over 100 days. During that time they will experience sleep deprivation, extreme fatigue, massive weight loss, huge seas and the only place that all 4 crew will have to shelter is a tiny cabin no larger than the size of a small double bed.

The boat is 29ft long, a little under 6ft wide and will be the crews life support system for the time that they are on the water. For both the Atlantic and the Indian the crew will be rowing in pairs and will be running on a shift pattern of two hours rowing followed by 2 hours resting for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For the Indian Ocean crew that means for approximately 100 days nobody will be getting more than 90 minutes of sleep at a time.

STORMS

HALLUCINATIONS 

HEALTH

EXHAUSTION

From the second the crews push off until they next set foot on dry land, the boat will be everything to them. They will either be on deck rowing or they will be in the tiny cabin at the back of the boat which is about two thirds the size of a double bed. Inside this they will rest, cook, eat, sleep navigate, communicate with the outside world and each other, patch up any injuries, write blogs and film vlogs, carry out any equipment repairs…in fact the only thing that they won’t be doing is in the cabin is going to the toilet. This is an alfresco affair that bears a striking resemblance to a bucket on deck because it is a bucket on deck. Lovely when it’s sunny and calm but try to imagine yourself balanced atop said bucket when there are howling winds and towering waves crashing on deck…

Proudly Supporting

Monkey Fist Adventures are proudly raising money and awareness for the EPDA (European Parkinson’s Disease Association), Combat Stress and RAFT (Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust).

As the leading voice for Parkinson’s in Europe, we provide information and resources to all Parkinson’s stakeholders, raise awareness of the disease’s complexities and impact, and advocate for concrete policy change that benefits the Parkinson’s community. Our vision is to enable all people with Parkinson’s to live a full life, while supporting the search for a cure.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health. For a century, we’ve helped former servicemen and women with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The work we do is life-changing and often life-saving. No one else does what we do.

RAFT is a medical research charity working in the field of tissue regeneration. Our aim is to give people who have suffered severe tissue damage (e.g. skin or bone) through accident, disease or birth abnormality access to pioneering new treatments that will significantly improve their quality of life, independence and dignity.

Follow the journey

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