Two doctors from London, Ted Welman (age 26) and Jack Faulkner (age 26), will be rowing 3600 miles starting April 2017 for 3 months from Geraldton Western Australia, > Port Louis, Mauritius.
As their website says –
Ocean rowing remains one of the toughest endurance tests known to man, nearly 4000 people have climbed Mount Everest, 536 have been into space yet only 20 rowing boats have crossed the Indian Ocean and only four were pairs!
Being interested in adventure and inspiring stories, as well as raising money for charity, I reached out for an interview with them. This is what they had to say about this epic adventure –
1 – Tell us a little about yourselves.
We met whilst studying Medicine at Imperial College London. Since graduating we have both worked as junior doctors in South London and plan to pursue careers as surgeons.
Ted is from Petworth in West Sussex (UK) and Jack from Brighton (UK). Both of us have rowed competitively, Ted during his school career and Jack at university – although neither to a particularly high level! After 8 years of training and doctoring, we have decided to take on this massive challenge, push ourselves to the limit whilst raising £100,000 for Médecins Sans Frontières.
2- What exactly are you doing?
In March 2017, we will leave from Western Australia on an 84 day expedition to Port Louis, Mauritius as we aim to become the fastest pair to row the 3600 mile journey! We will spend nearly 3 months at sea burning 8000 calories per day rowing in 2 hour shifts, 24 hours a day for the duration of the crossing.
This grueling schedule will see us battle sleep deprivation, hurricane force winds and 50 ft waves! In doing so, we hope to raise £100,000 for Médecins Sans Frontières, a global medical charity which provides much needed emergency medical care in areas affected by conflict, epidemics or natural disasters.
3- Why are you doing it?
Working as doctors in UK Hospitals has given us an appreciation of the importance of first responders and emergency healthcare in times of crisis. In the UK we are incredibly lucky to have such a comprehensive health service, free at the point of delivery and available to everyone who needs it.
History has shown that natural disasters and conflicts that devastate local communities, often occur in areas with the least access to medical resources. MSF helps people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to those affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.
They place highly skilled medical staff, logisticians and water and sanitation experts into disaster zones with their medics carrying out over 8 million patient consultations every year. Their network of aid workers and supplies around the world mean they can quickly respond to disasters. Indeed, after the Haiti earthquake, they treated their first patient within three minutes.
MSF was founded in 1971 on the belief that all people have the right to medical care regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries. MSF has since opened offices in 28 countries and employs more than 30,000 people across the world. Since its foundation, MSF has treated over a hundred million patients.
4 – Why did you choose the Indian Ocean crossing?
The Indian Ocean remains one of the few relatively unexplored locations on Earth. Only 20 rowing boats have ever made the crossing, of which only 4 of these have been pairs. We wanted to give ourselves a massive challenge where we can take nothing for granted (particularly the weather) and have the opportunity to attempt a world record.
5 – What previous rowing experience do you have, if any?
To be honest, very minimal! Ted rowed at school and Jack at university, but neither to a particularly high level. We are just two normal guys who wanted to do something a bit different for a very good cause.
6 – What have you done for training?
Our training has focused a lot on increasing our body mass and strength. We are expected to lose nearly a third of our body weight during the crossing so we need to be prepared! As with all ocean rows, lots of time on the rowing machine is essential and definitely makes up the more miserable part of our training!
We both spend a minimum of 2-3 hours per day in the gym – this is either composed of a long weight session or a 2 hour erg and core strengthening. If time permits we would aim to do a combination or include a lactate building workout.
Tomorrow (7th Feb) we are down in Canary Wharf in London doing a 150km static row as a fundraiser. This will entail us rowing 2 hours on, 2 ours off and will therefore be good practice for the real thing!
7 – What would you say to others that may have similar adventure ideas like this?
If you want to do something like this, just go ahead and give it a go. There are always a huge number of obstacles just to get to the start line but with the right attitude and perseverance you can do just about anything.
8 – Why did you choose the charity you are working with and how can others contribute to their cause?
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9 – Future plans after the adventure? Any other adventures you may have in mind?
We’ll see how this one goes first…!