The 2020 (& now 2021) “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.

Covid-19 Update

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption worldwide, and the Brain Waves challenge is no exception.

Whilst the crew remained hopeful about the conditions of entry easing, the weather window for a 2020 crossing has unfortunately now passed. The team are exceedingly disappointed, but are now focusing their efforts on undertaking the challenge once the travel ban has been relaxed, hopefully in 2021.

The 2020 (& now 2021) “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.

Covid-19 Update

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption worldwide, and the Brain Waves challenge is no exception.

Whilst the crew remained hopeful about the conditions of entry easing, the weather window for a 2020 crossing has unfortunately now passed. The team are exceedingly disappointed, but are now focusing their efforts on undertaking the challenge once the travel ban has been relaxed, hopefully in 2021.

Part 1 – Atlantic Ocean, Canaries to Caribbean

On 5th January 2020 the Brain Waves crew 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 – Atlantic Ocean; Canaries to Caribbean

On 5th January 2020 the Brain Waves crew 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.

 

+ MEET THE CREW

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.

 

+ MEET THE CREW

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…

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Join the 100 club

Friends, Family & Individuals

#PullTogether

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

#GetOnBoard

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.

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).

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