Loughborough University
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Loughborough University

Department of Materials


Olly and Dan Atlantic Challenge

Materials alumni join the 2015 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:24:00 BST

The Challenge

The pair will be rowing in a boat only 7 meters long and 2 meters wide with a tiny cabin to weather the storms. On top of this they will have to deal with the mental and physical challenge of rowing 12 hours a day in shifts and burning up to 8,500 calories each per day. Taking into consideration that the human body can only take on up to 6,000 calories a day, they will return a lot lighter than when they set out!

Teams have to take everything they need with them, as they are not allowed to take on food, water, help or repairs during the challenge. There are 24 hour support boats if they do run into major problems, but this is absolutely the last resort and might be days away.

After graduating in 2008, Dan Parsons went on to use his degree in Materials Engineering, joining Karbon Kinetics Ltd, manufacturers of the innovative Gocycle electric bike. He hadn’t rowed before accepting the challenge to row across the Atlantic! He has however, competed internationally in water sports including sailing and windsurfing and so is seasoned in dealing with what the sea can throw at him. He also coaches others in water sports and worked with the British Paralympic Sailing Team.

When Olly Clark finished his degree in Design with Engineering Materials, he did the Mongol Rally, which is an 8,000 mile round trip from the UK to Mongolia. Following this adventure, he joined the Royal Engineers and has completed a number of tours including to Afghanistan.

Quite aside from the excitement of challenging themselves to the extreme, Dan and Olly are doing the challenge to raise funds for the ABF, Prostate Cancer UK and The Soldiers’ Charity. To date, they have sponsorship from Musto, a company synonymous with sailing and SAV, a London-based web design agency.

We spoke to Dan to ask him how it’s going. “It is great to know our university is behind us. Olly and I met at Loughborough- so the biggest challenge of our lives has been made possible by attending a university that inspired us to continually raise the bar and go above and beyond! The Loughborough spirit remains strong and not only are we training to win the race; we are determined to exceed our ambitious, but achievable target of £250,000 for two charities close to our hearts.”

You can support Dan and Olly by liking and sharing their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RowAtlantic2015) and following on Twitter @RowAtlantic2015. For information on how you can get involved please visit their website www.atlantic-row.com/support.

Photo courtesy of Clyne Cark-Hamilton Photography and Production


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