Atlantic Rowing Expedition!
Rowing across the ocean for mental health and ocean conservation!
We are Amir, Paul, Marko and Mark, a team of three TU Delft students and one sustainability specialist. Having met through university we are preparing to row 4800km across the Atlantic Ocean in "The World's Toughest Row", starting this December 12th, 2023!
What started as the idea of two roommates with no rowing experience, has since evolved into a full campaign 2 years in the making. We will be rowing non-stop and unsupported from the Canary Islands to Antigua against teams from around the globe.
Through this crowdfunding campaign, we want to raise funding for our mandatory safety and communications equipment that ensure our position on the start line.
Why row an ocean?
We realized that the same uncertainties we will face on the ocean are experienced by young people around us everyday. Promoting the means to tackle our mental health such as open communication, empathy and awareness need to be constantly addressed. Therefore our goal is to use our journey as a platform to raise awareness for mental health while raising funds for our charities MIND Us (Netherlands) and JIGSAW (Ireland) that provide essential support to young people. There is no doubt that we will reach our physical limits but it is our team's spirit and mental resilience that will be tested above all.
At the same time, with the ocean being our home for over 30 days we want to highlight its importance as the lifeblood of our planet. We will collect ocean data during our crossing for ground-truth validation of a marine conservation tool in order to promote the importance of citizen science.
In order to achieve our goals we rely on your support! Having secured our ocean rowing boat we now need to raise 15,000 euros to purchase essential ocean communications and safety equipment. This includes our satellite phones; internet-terminal antenna; emergency locator beacons; liferaft; lifejackets; handheld gps; temperature sensors and lifelines. This ensures our participation while allowing us to share the story live during the crossing to drive meaningful impact for our charities. The equipment will also be sold after the crossing with 100% going to our charities!
Thank you for considering supporting our campaign. We hope to involve as much of the TU Delft community and look forward to sharing our adventure with you.
Team Out of the Blue
More info on rewards:
(Your name on the boat)
The rowing deck is the surface between the cabins, we aim to print all names in time for the charity fundraiser taking place this October.
Send us a message that we will anonymously print on biodegrable paper and hide in our meal packs. Whether it is a joke, a motivational message, a thought for us to discuss or a roast, anything to spice up the shifts at sea.
Additional details and instructions alongside the confirmation email!
In October we will host an evening fundraising charity event in Delft to unveil our ocean rowing boat, bring family, friends and sponsors together and enjoy an evening themed to shine a spotlight on ocean health and mental health.
The World's Toughest Row is an annual race that has taken place since 2012 and was previously known as the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
In this year's edition Team Out of the Blue will set off alongside a fleet of 42 other boats from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Antigua in the Carribean! We are united by the idea of achieving our goals, contributing to our causes and collectively helping each other prepare for the challenge.
- Each rower aims to consume 10 litres of water per day.
- Rowers burn in excess of 5,000 calories per day.
- The waves that the rowers experience can measure up to 6m high.
- In a year, more people summit Mount Everest than have ever rowed an ocean.
We aim to document as much as possible including the amazing wildlife we hope to encounter so close to our boat.
The focus of this crowdfunding campaign is securing our safety and communications equipment shown in the diagram below.
The Satellite terminal connects us to the internet which enables us to share images and videos of our day-to-day, wildlife, and entire experience with the world. One Sat phone connected to the Iridium network will be used exclusively to check-in with the safety team, the second sat phones is for family, and the third satphone stored in a grab bag for emergencies. The Emergency beacons consists of two EPIRB's (Emergency position-indicating radiobeacons) and 4 PLB's (Personal Locator Beacons). The former are attached to the boat while the latter are carried on the belts of each rower. These are required by the International Maritime Organisation for any vessel that sails in Sea Area 3 which is defined as waters more than 150 nautical miles offshore. With this equipment we ensure that our location can be pinpointed in all scenarios.
Our vessel needs to deal with any scenario at sea. Therefore we are required to carry a liferaft with emergency supplies able to sustain us for more than 24hours. Additionally, we will also carry immersion suits that regulate our body temperature and offshore lifevests for rowing in rougher conditions.
This equipment joins the list of 155 unique items that need to be taken aboard. It's a large chunk of the overall costs associated with this expedition. We have prioritized it because inside out knowledge of equipment that comes from maximising training hours using the equipment when applicable is crucial.
Over the course of the campaign we will be documenting the various equipment as we receive it and are happy to also show the quirky and unsual smaller bits and bobs which are specific to this expedition. Keep yours eyes out on the news feed or our instagram!
What does mental resilience mean to us?
For us it means that we are able to support each other through open communication, empathy and problem solving to overcome uncertainties in preparation for the challenge which eventually we believe will help us to navigate uncertainties and experience in daily life whether it be our jobs, studies or relationships.
The challenge so far has been an incredible learning experience and a source of motivation. We believe that everyone can have a source of motivation in their lives in whatever form fits them and that through resilience and a little bit of positive energy can work towards their goals or help them find a direction.
How are we working to make an impact in our community?
By supporting mental health charities like MIND Us and Jigsaw we hope to support young people in this way. Aside from raising FUNDS that will contribute to long-terms programs we also hope to provide short term inspiration by sharing our experiences.
The Ocean is the lifeblood of our planet, providing us with oxygen, food, water, climate regulation and countless benefits for our health and happiness. Despite this, by ignoring its complexity and diversity we have been damaging this finely balanced system through over extraction, pollution and climate change.
Among other issues, the uncertainty and lack of autonomy many young people who care deeply about our planet feel when faced with these issues can add heavily to the existing weight on their shoulders. This feeling is something we have each experienced first hand. While it is important that people are aware of the scale of the problem, we want to use our campaign, challenge, and actions as a catalyst for others to seek solutions rather than problems.
Partnership 1: Data Collection
Team Out of the Blue will record sea conditions during the Atlantic crossing race in order to provide ground truth validation to the GIS tool developed by Reef Support called Open Ocean Data. The software derives satellite data provided by the Copernicus Marine Service of surrounding ocean conditions and empowers individuals and organizations with dynamic insights, aiding the development of solutions to save coral reefs.
The resulting satellite data is produced in simple graph format and made available to independent organizations creating new knowledge about the interaction of the marine environment and coral reefs. And can be shared publicly with the community or used to alert local governments to fluctuating ocean climate conditions. We are happy to work with Reef Support because it was founded by students at the Aerospace Faculty and demonstrates that young people together can make a contribution. Read about our collaboration here:
Partnership 2: Ocean Education
Young people are essential to creating a future where our oceans are valued and respected. They have the creativity, innovation and energy to be important agents of change and through campaigns like the Fridays for Future they have shown what they can achieve when passionate about something. A key goal for our campaign is to tap into this by sparking a passion for our ocean in young minds by sharing our experiences and learnings from our campaign and time at sea.
Together with SeaSynergy, an educational organization based out of the South-west of Ireland, we will co-develop a learning programme for schools centered around our campaign and race. A key part of this programme will be delivered through monthly interschool zoom sessions which will run from September 2023 to March 2024 and will cover topics like race preparations, wildlife, weather and ocean currents.
While we will be collecting data on our own boat, another key component of the education programme is through the refurbishment and launch of a "mini" ocean rowing boat equipped with its very own sensors. Originally launched in Maine, ‘Mini-Maine’ is a drone boat that drifted on the ocean collecting date before eventually drifting ashore in Ireland. As part of the Out of the Blue educational programme schools will be refurbishing the boat in the Team OB colours and will be launched at the start line by the team and will collect ocean data long after our race is finished.
As a learning program, the combined learning approach of the zoom sessions and lesson plans combined with the hands-on learning experience the mini Team OB boat will provide, should create an impactful learning experience that will help us to empower the next generation.