The Atlantic threw some almighty challenges at you. How did your military background help you adapt and overcome these situations?
Our training as a team certainly kicked in with all the different scenarios we found ourselves in, from communication failures, storms and a close encounter with a marlin, to name a few. However, I believe the military training that Jono and I had undertaken certainly helped deal with these situations. You have to analyse the situation, make a decision on what needs to be done but to also be prepared to adapt and overcome. The Marlin experience was something that we had never dreamt of happening so in order to deal with this we had to adapt and think quickly on our feet.
How do the physical and mental challenges rate in comparison to some of the extreme challenges you have completed in the past, like ultra-marathons and endurance bike rides?
I have to say that this is probably one of the toughest, if not the toughest event that I have undertaken. The duration for one is challenging and physically breaks the body down. The nature of the race and being completely unsupported is a very big factor and there is no get out if you are physically or mentally not up to completing the challenge. I lost 8kg of body weight even though I was eating 5500 calories a day. The intensity of the sun and reflection on the water is another key factor to consider.
Yours, and the rest of the rowers’ situations have been unique, spending that amount of time off-the-grid. Has this challenge changed your outlook on life?
You really appreciate everything that we take for granted and the friendships that you have. Being confined to such a small space and the repetitive nature of each day is another factor that reminds you of the immense freedoms we have in everyday life. The basics of being able to walk is something that I really missed as we would take approx. 12 steps a day when on the boat. Food becomes a big part of what you long for as well, the rations are good but you dream of the most amazing meals for when you hit land.