News of their preparation and time at
10 – 18 September
2014: Tom and Sam brush up on their navigation skills in Plymouth.
To help prepare our two graduates
to row into the unknown without seeing land for two months, we sponsored
their navigation training at the Plymouth Sailing School.
April 2015: Crew change
After months of gruelling training and
with only 21 days left to go before their record attempt to become the fastest
and youngest two man team to row 3,800 miles from New York to Salcombe, Sam
Coombe was forced to withdraw.
Sam injured his back during a weight
lifting session as he prepared for the departure and after further checks and
an MRI scan, his consultant confirmed that he would not be able to take part in
Team Ocean Valour. Both Sam and Tom were devastated, however Team Ocean Valour
would still live on…
Lawrence Walters, a life-long
friend of Tom with great knowledge of the ocean and experience in rowing Yves
(the rowing boat Team Ocean Valour will row the North Atlantic in), has
Read more about the crew change on the Ocean
3 May 2015: And they’re off
On 3 May 2015 at 10:33 ET / 15:33
BST Tom and Lawrence set off from North Cove Marina, Battery Park, Manhattan,
Within the first five hours the pair
had rowed a total of nearly 18 nautical miles, getting a good start in fine
Their first night at sea was
challenging, especially after nine hours rowing, but a full moon lit the
horizon and the waves coming towards them making it slightly more manageable.
11 May 2015: Luke’s birthday at sea,
and they hit the Gulf Stream
On the night of 10 May, Tom and
Lawrence made it to the Gulf Stream - great news for the tiring crew.
This date was even more significant
as it was the birthday of Tom’s late father and the inspiration behind Tom’s
desire to row the Atlantic.
‘Luke passed away in 2012 after battling against a Brain
Tumour. The row is a way to honour Luke’s memory and to raise funds for the
Brain Tumour Charity’s early detection project. This aims to find brain tumours
much earlier than was possible before ensuring that suitable treatment can administered
sooner and more successfully. This will help prevent other families from going
through the crippling loss of a parent that Tom and the Rainey family have been
through.’ Ocean Valour
22 May 2015: A very stressful 15
On 22 May, Yves made a transmission
through the Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) routed to
Falmouth Coastguard. (EPIRBs are a last resort safety system that is only be
used in grave and imminent danger).
However, the coastguard indicated
that the EPIRB had only sent one ping and then stopped. Normally it would
continue to transmit a signal for a minimum of 48 hours. After much discussion
they made the decision to wait until their next scheduled call which was only a
few minutes away.
15 minutes later Lawrence called in
explaining that the large waves had caused Tom to accidentally kick the EPRIB
off it’s mounting bracket as he was getting into the cabin. They had no idea
that the EPIRB had transmitted and were both fine and excited about the
prospect of progress that the more westerly wind was providing them with.
Read more on the Ocean Valour website.
26 May 2015: Our friendship will
survive the ocean
The pair became close friends racing
dinghies against each other across Europe and are ready for the challenge they
are currently facing of weeks alone together in the middle of the North
“We are good mates, soul mates, really, but we’re fully
expecting it to get a bit lumpy!” laughs Lawrence.
“We’ll probably want to chuck each other in the ocean at
some point, but we’ll pull each other through. And we've got a cactus called Mr
Planty who sits in the cabin, so we can always send the other one to see it -
our version of sitting on the naughty step. People expect us to argue about
what to put on the iPod, but I think there’ll be bigger fish to fry. Maybe
things more like: ‘You’re not rowing fast enough!'"
1 June 2015: Shifting gears
After ten days of rowing around in a
giant circle three times, Tom and Lawrence have broken out of the circle of
Gulf Stream current.
On 1 June they hear confirmation
from the Ocean Rowing Society (who are the adjudicators for Guinness World
Records in the sport) that Team Ocean Valour have set a new World Record for
the greatest distance covered by ocean row boat in 24 hours.
112.52 nautical miles in 24 hours.
Read more about the distance record on the Ocean
4 June 2015: Towering waves and
sheet rain soak
Tom describes the weather that these
low pressures generate as “50kt squalls with horrible rain that felt like
hailstones and gravel being thrown at you, and that lasted from midnight last
night until about 10 o’clock this morning.” As a consequence everything
on board is drenched and morale dips.
The team are now only a few miles
from their next way point which is a couple of hundred miles off the southern
tip of the Grand Banks.
Read more about the conditions.
12 June 2015: Battle wears on
After battling harsh conditions the
pair have been able to enjoy the sun shining down on them, allowing them to
really dry out the cabin. They've also recently had a swim, jumping in the sea
to scrape barnacles that had become attached to the bottom of the boat.
With a smooth bottom Yves should
have less friction and so be quicker. Check out the gallery for photos!
Read more about Ocean Valour’s journey so far.
18 June 2015: Numbers!
In the last 42 days Tom and Lawrence
have covered an incredible 1823 nautical miles (nm).
The team started out with 90 days of
food rations so at the moment it looks like it is almost the perfect amount.
Read more about the distances covered and still
22 June 2015: Jellyfish, superman
Lots has happened over the past few
days, and not to do with wind or rain! They went for a swim and saw a turtle. A
tiny jellyfish stung Tom on his neck and his leg. Thankfully it wasn't a bad
sting and the pain had subsided within an hour or so. The pair have now
promised that they’re going to be much more cautious next time they’re thinking
about jumping into the sea.
Find out about ‘Superman’ and rationing.