The 2020 “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. 

This remarkable test of teamwork, body and mind will also aim to achieve two incredible world firsts: The first female to row across two oceans in the same year; the first female to row non-stop, continent to continent, between Australia and Africa.

Part 1 – the Atlantic Ocean

Canaries to Caribbean

In January 2020 a crew of 4 will set off from Lanzarote and using muscle power alone will together row 3,200 miles of open Atlantic Ocean that lay between them and Antigua. We expect the crossing to take between 35 to 45 days, depending on weather conditions. More people have been into space than have successfully rowed across the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the crew, Liz Dennett, is living with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease, and we will be partnering with Oxford Brookes University to provide data for a groundbreaking research project into the cause of this neurological condition.



Part 2 – the Indian Ocean

Australia to Africa

After successfully arriving in Antigua, Billy and Alex will take a short break before picking up 2 new crew members – John Haskell and Rachel Hearn – to take on the Indian Ocean, and row into the record books, with Alex becoming the first female to row two different oceans in one year, and the first ever non-stop crossing from Australia to mainland Africa. With unpredictable currents and weather patterns the team will have two possible landing destinations – Durban and Mombassa.



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.





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.





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…

Get on board!

Corporate 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


Our aim is to raise £100,000 for our charity partners during the row. To make that happen we need to raise £82,000 to cover the cost of the challenge. We are inviting friends and family to become part of the 100 club by donating £100 to help us get to the start.

Join the 250 club

Local & Small Businesses


Our aim is to raise £100,000 for our charity partners during the row. To make that happen we need to raise £82,000 to cover the cost of the challenge. We are inviting local and small businesses to become part of the 250 club by donating £250 to help us get to the start.

Follow the journey

The best way to stay up to date is to follow us on social media.