Three brothers from Lymington in Hampshire have got rather unusual plans for this Christmas. They plan to spend it - as well as the entire rest of December and the first week or so of January 2023 - rowing the entire breadth of the Atlantic Ocean.
Louis Ambrose (26), Felix Ambrose (25), and Finn Ambrose (23) - aka 'The Ambrose Buoys' - plan on splitting duties during the epic 3000 mile row from the Canary Islands (La Gomera) to the Caribbean (Antigua). They'll row 24 hours a day - two hours on, two hours off - taking it in turns between the three of them to row, eat, sleep and carry out essential boat maintenance.
The trio are pushing themselves for the massive undertaking for a few reasons, not least of all to try and raise as much money as possible to donate to the African conservation charity Tusk.
Of course, there's more than just the charity angle. The Ambrose brothers appreciate a challenge and relish an opportunity to beat their father's time. Two decades ago, dad Hugo pulled off the same challenge in 59 days, albeit in a slightly less aerodynamic wooden boat. Louis, Felix and Finn plan to complete their journey in just 40 days.
“We are three brothers who share an affinity for the outdoors and we see this as the perfect test. In 2003, we were exposed to the enormity of this challenge as our father completed the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race - in those days it was named something else - as part of a pair,” says Felix.
“Hearing stories about the endeavour, witnessing first-hand the toll it took and experiencing the atmosphere at the finish line has done little to quell our curiosity. In fact, as children, we were so confident that we would not only take on the challenge but also surpass our father’s time of 59 days, that we made a bet with him… for £5!”
“The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has not only created a huge challenge for conservation, but has highlighted how connected we are to the natural world, and illustrated just how delicate that web is,” says Finn, explaining why the brothers chose Tusk as their nominated charity.
“From the oceans we sail on, through the habitats that provide the air we breathe, to the estimated 10 million plant and animal species that share our planet, there has never been a more crucial time to fight for the protection of all life on earth. In Africa, one of the most biodiverse areas on our planet, the relentless impact of the pandemic threatens to undo decades of conservation progress."
"The collapse in tourism and economies has seriously affected rural livelihoods and conservation efforts. Large scale redundancies of wildlife rangers, community liaison teams and other project staff have led to reports of an upsurge in illegal bushmeat hunting, and fears of an imminently approaching international poaching crisis.”
All the best, lads!
You can follow the boys' Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge 2022 journey here on the Ambrose Buoys website.