We also have a thing for mental and physical challenges that push people to extremes, testing their grit, determination and resilience. So, when former SAS army veteran Ian Rivers approached us about a never-before-done challenge to row the Atlantic the ‘wrong’ way round (from west to east), without GPS and using only the sun, stars and a sextant to guide him, our poker chips were all IN. Having just set off –fuelled by our low sugar, high protein goodies – Ian will row solo over 3,100 nautical miles from New York to the Isles of Scilly. MUAD!
With the unsupported trip spanning 90 days, with 9-12 hours of rowing per day, the crossing will test human endurance, navigation and seamanship to its absolute limit. Such is the difficulty of this former SAS soldier’s task, nobody has ever managed to complete it before. But if anyone can, it’s Ian... Aged 55 from Hereford, Ian has led an awe-inspiring life of adventure. He joined the army after becoming inspired by the Falklands War in the 80s, fighting in theatres across the world, before becoming a member of 22 Special Air Service regiment for more than a decade.
In 2012, whilst working for an American news network, he was kidnapped in Syria. Quick-witted, he escaped his captors, managing to find his way to safety using only natural indicators. Knowing a thing or two about survival, Ian (a grandfather, no less), has also scaled Everest, and is a qualified ocean yacht master.
“I’d describe myself as an adventurer,” he said. “I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, ever since I was a kid. It frees you up. I’ve wanted to attempt this challenge since I was in my 20s.”
“I’m looking forward to the calmness, the equilibrium of being alone for a long time. If I’m honest, I don’t really like my own company so it’s the ultimate challenge for me to be on my own for that long.”
Ian is raising money for two charities; the SAS Regimental Association’s Sentinels programme and St Michael’s Hospice in Herefordshire. The aim? To raise more than half a million pounds for the charities.
The epitome of Getting Shit Done, we’ll be cheering Ian on over the duration of the challenge, so keep an eye on our socials and head here to donate to these worthy causes. You can also track his exact position in the Atlantic by going here.