Patience and her crew cross the finishing line in 4th place
Monday, 15 March 2010 23:58
We did it! We crossed the line, on Saturday 13th March, after 68 days at sea - having rowed 3,184 miles and finishing 4th in our class out of 21 boats (and 6th overall out of 30). Not bad eh?! It has been an unforgetable experience for both of us - exhilarating highs, equally testing lows, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, our excitement when we spotted wildlife, and battling through what will be remembered by everyone involved in ocean rowing as the toughest race in history thanks to the bad weather we had to tackle so often.
The weather made the crossing far more mentally challenging than we or any other team would have expected and so to come through this - particularly the last week at sea - makes our achievement even more satisfying.
Patience has been a wonderful and safe home for us over the last two months - and is all thanks to you - our family, friends and sponsors. We're very grateful to all of you who have given us your time, effort and/or money to help make sure the boat would be in a fit state to get us across and the project a success.
We're also very appreciative of all of the messages of support we've received during the race - both through our sat phone and the Woodvale race website. Messages became an important source of motivation and a real boost to our morale. It was also very humbling to know so many of you were following and supporting us - via the website or prayer. It would remind us that this wasn't just our challenge as so many of you had invested in it too - recognising this certainly made us row harder.
Thank you also to the postgrad students of Cardiff Journalism School for organising the podcasts and George Elphick for updating the site - juggling this with his new role as a dad!
We fly back to the UK tomorrow night and we'll be in touch with all of you soon and we're looking forward to the chance to tell you a few tales from our trip.
The next challenge starts now - raising as much money for our chosen charities by the end of the year. Please help us to raise as much as we can.
See finishing photos at www.atlanticrowingrace09.com/photos/viewgallery/17
We'll put up some of our own soon.
Nick, Jonnie and Patience
The final push/pull!
Saturday, 13 March 2010 20:08
The boys welcoming party have just got on the yacht to see them come in! They really are so close now! The excitement is really kicking in! Jonnie and Nick have done so so well and can soon look back on their efforts, while eating all of the ice cream possible (Jonnie's request)!
Well done to them on such an amazing achievement!
On the 'road' again!
Friday, 12 March 2010 18:20
Some good news!
The wind has turned to being in the boy's favour-they're really starting to clock up the miles again! They are rowing the hardest they can, hopefully this effort will pay off very soon! There is a potential ETA of 20.00 (Antigua time) tomorrow, so please keep everything crossed!
There is mention that the local weather could lead to choppy seas but hopefully after all that they have put up with this will not effect them too badly...
Are we nearly there yet!?
Thursday, 11 March 2010 14:19
Nick and Jonnie are fighting quite a battle at the moment, what they thought would be a 'fast finish', isn't!
The weather appears to be playing tricks and there does not seem to be a clear forecast as the weather maps are constantly changing! This must be so frustrating for the boys, they are finding it hard to see an end!
Let's hope they will be able to enjoy some beers to celebrate their wonderful achievement along with Jonnie's 25th birthday at some point on Saturday......
It is great to see the supportive messages on the Woodvale website, please keep them coming! Will post more on this tense finish as soon as more news is heard.
Less than 1000 miles and counting.....
Monday, 22 February 2010 18:45
The boys have done very well and are now within the last 3 weeks of rowing this ocean race! Please give them more reason to complete this fantastic challenge by sponsoring their charities.
Also, keep eyes (and ears) peeled for a couple of week's worth of podcasts that should be put up on the website soon.....
First week, 200 miles, tick!
Sunday, 10 January 2010 20:00
A few stories from over the past six days....
The weather forced us to face some early challenges with the terrible weather and wave conditions-unfortunately it got the better of us when we had to put the para anchor up for about six hours due to constant sea sickness! After some time however, although we were still feeling pretty awful, we decided that we needed to take our minds off it, so guess what we did......we went rowing!!
The conditons began to improve and so did our tummies!!
We have done really well to keep up with our routine of rowing 2 hours on 2 hours off throughout the night and 1 hour shifts within the hot, hot day (and besides, if it were any longer than this, Nick's sore arse could deteriorate quite rapidly!). One thing that is a MUST in our daily itinerary is the scheduled meal times that we can enjoy together-a great time for a chat and laugh!
When we are not "pulling our weight" (pun intended!) on the oars we make sure that we really enjoy the surroundings that we are in. The sunsets are beautiful, but most of all, we love waking up to the amazing sunrises.
Today has been a real highlight as we were introduced to our first pod of dolphins!! They were higly entertaining, we watched on them for a while-playing with the waves and creeping up on the bow of the boat! As they became more friendly we thought it was a good idea to jump in and play with them, no sooner than we came up to the water surface, they had gone!! Maybe we should start washing more often!?
Please keep an eye on the website as our first podcast will be available within the next few days!
We would like to say thank you again to everyone who is supporting us and donating to our charities.
Another thank you too, for our wonderful families and girlfriends who are keeping us going through their phone calls!
Enjoy "dot" following!
Team Atlantic Dragon x x
The Journey begins....
Monday, 04 January 2010 22:13
The horn sounded at 13.30 today on the 4th January 2010 and immediately we began to settle into our routine-rowing 2 hours on and 2 hours off throughout the night. We are currently heading south on our journey, we can still see the lights of La Gomera and Tenerife, however they are gradually becoming more and more distant (I suppose that's a good sign)!
Nick and I are looking forward to what the morning brings. Thank you again for all of your support, will report more soon....
This is it!
Sunday, 03 January 2010 17:34
Well, the start has arrived and a long time coming! This time tomorrow we will be rowing away from the Island of La Gomera we know so well and heading south. With a weather window of 10 days, as a fleet we shall make good our passage to Antigua. It has been a warm and sunny day here with a nice calm atmosphere amongst the rowing community, there is a good feeling that we are all starting our adventure and we have all been doing last minute preparations (again!) ranging from fitting reflective curtains on our hatches to buying tinned & fresh fruit for the first few days (hoping to ease into the journey). I don't know about Nick but I am used to eating re-hydrated food - though never for more than 2 weeks so 2 months will be....interesting! (Fresh fruit was a must on our shopping list). It is amazing what we have accumulated on the boat over our time here; endless amounts of rope and bunjy, cushions for our seat and spares, reels of duct tape, souvenir t-shirts, funky sunglasses, food, food and more food and of course a Crocadilo!
The sun is setting now, we both look forward to what tomorrow brings and the many days and sunsets we will experience on the Atlantic.
Many thanks to all those who have supported 'Atlantic Dragon' getting this far, we hope you will follow the boat and help raise awareness and funds for all three charities.
Race is on!!
Saturday, 02 January 2010 14:01
Hi to all...
...the Atlantic Rowing Race 2010 is on!! (At last we hear you say) This mornings meeting confirmed again that the weather is favourable for rowing and we are back on track to start.
We will be starting on Monday 4th January at 1330.
This news has come as a great relief as before we had not had confirmation, now we know we will be out to sea in less than 48hrs the fleet has a real spring in its step. We will be doing last minute preparations including buying some tinned fruit!!
Thank you to everyone supporting us and look forward to the race build up....
We have water!
Tuesday, 29 December 2009 16:11
We finally have good quality drinking water! Our water maker has been a major cause for concern over the last 4-5 weeks as it hasn't produced the quality of water we were hoping for. Every time we produced a new batch of water the taste was increasingly salty. After talking to our supplier and Woodvale - who installed in the machine - we set about tweaking the installation of the machine. Yet new piping and thicker electrical wire - in case it was a problem of lack of current - didn't do the trick. So yesterday we took the boat out of the water so we could replace the membrane in the water maker. We had Will Smith from Heritage Explorer run the show for us and we did as we were told. The boat finally went back into the water at 8pm after a full day of work. We tested the water maker this morning and to our great relief we were producing water of excellent quality. We're incredibly grateful to Will for his help - without whom we'd still be working out how to dismantle the piece of kit. It also means that the one last remaining major issue has been resolved - all thanks to the delay to the race start. Without this extra time to identify the problem and fix it we'd be somewhere in the middle of the atlantic with water that would only dehydrate us more quickly. We've a few jobs to complete to get the boat race ready but we'll be in good shape we hope. And of course we've now got an addition to the Atlantic Dragon crew. He's a four foot long, green, crocodile named Crocodillo. Expect to hear mre form him soon!
NYE in La Gomera...
Monday, 28 December 2009 12:44
Return to La Gomera
We hope everyone has had a great Christmas and enjoyed the snow over the festive period, the weather in the UK has been extreme and the origins of this weather is what has kept us back in La Gomera and continues to do so.....
Since arriving arriving back on our boxing day flight we have had a productive day. With the anticipation of starting our adventure only a few days away we spent all afternoon on Sunday out on the boat ensuring everything is in order. We ran the watermaker through and deployed the sea anchor - this was an exciting experience as the whole outing the wind was blowing 17knots (ideal for sailing), however it made rowing a little more challenging. We worked well together learning more about the sea anchor´s use and the method in which it is deployed and what conditions we can/not row in!
....after this mornings meeting (with the majority of teams back) it was announced that there is a further delay till the 2nd or 3rd of Jan. Due to the weather over the last 3 weeks the sea is still rough and windy meaning the Spanish port authourities and Woodvale will not allow the race to start until it has cleared completly.
Jonnie & Nick
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 10:42
Further delay till the 29th December 2009.
Simon of Woodvale Challenge called a futher delay after this morning´s meeting, saying;
´We had to make the call, we will have to let the storms pass. Simply nothing else we can do.´
Information gained from his weather specialist says that the unstable sea´s in the Atlantic are enough to cause the fleet to be held back for two weeks. Some teams have already left La Gomera for the UK and will be back in time to be on 48hs notice in La Gomera on the 27th Dec. I imagine more will do the same over next few days.
Nick and I remain positive that we will be starting our journey on the 29th after spending an unexpected flight home for Christmas!
Jonnie & Nick
Race Delayed till 20th Dec...!
Monday, 14 December 2009 12:17
After passing scrutineering and getting the boat on the water we have been tweeking ´Patience´over the past week whilst waiting for the absent flares to arrive in La Gomera....however whilst we have been waiting the weather has turned.
The origional start date was delayed to the 16th due to to flares, with the new meterological information we have the start date was delayed again and penciled in for sunday 20th December. It is now apparent that the weather is very stormy in the mid atlantic and we may be delayed up until the 28th Dec.
Woodvale will decide tommorrow morning (15th Dec) at 0930 as to when the new race start date will be.
So, we have been keeping ourselves busy by taking the boat out and running the water maker and testing our equipment, we have even had the chance to go sailing with our new friends in the marina!
Thank you to all friends and family that came out to support us and those back home who are as eager as us to get started.
Also thank you to our sponsors for helping us get this far, it has been a huge effort and we really look forward to getting this adventure on the way.
Jonnie & Nick (La Gomera)
1200 14th December 09
Arrival in La Gomera!
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 14:07
We spent the last few days in Cardiff seeing friends, sorting through the last of our kit and packing up our belongings for the next 3 months, before heading our seperate ways to see friends and family before we meet up just a few long hours later at Gatwick - for Nick a meal in London and Jonnie a Christmas dinner & pudding to long for on the boat!
Now in La Gomera we have been re-united with our boat and settled into the routine of working on her and meeting the other teams, what an amazing sight it is seeing 30 ocean rowing boats all lined out being fine tuned in these final two weeks. Its great to hear the stories of the teams and their project journey in getting to the start itself - the amount of support needed networks around the UK and nearly everyone knows of someone of someone - which is good to see.
Yesterday we spent preparing for the scrutineering of the boat and our equipment by the race organisors, everyone wants to work hard and do well here. Forunatly, I can say this morning we stood up well to the strict process and have a small 'to do list' which is a great feeling.
We will now spend the next few days tweeking the boat and making the cabin more comfortable.....that maybe a never ending process!!
Gracias to all.
Jonnie & Nick
Thanks to OnDeck we're ready for our Ocean Theory exam tomorrow
Saturday, 14 November 2009 17:42
After 4 days of intensive learning on our RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory course we're ready for our exams tomorrow. OnDeck have kindly sponsored the cost of the course and "Stokey" our instructor has taught us everything we need to know and more. We've learnt how to use a sextant, taking sun, planet and star sights and subsequently plot our position on our own 'home-made' charts. Thanks to Stokey's experience we could even - in an emergency - navigate our way to Antigua using the North Star, a radio and a frying pan! Thank you to Mike Williams and Philippa Rogers at OnDeck for helping us - we are very grateful.
Principality Building Society become our latest sponsor
Friday, 06 November 2009 13:00
The biggest building society in Wales - Principality Building Society - is the latest sponsor to back the Atlantic Dragon team. We're very grateful for their support. More to follow...
Race diary to be powered by Panasonic
Monday, 02 November 2009 09:55
Panasonic have agreed to provide us with the kit that we'll need to keep in touch with our supporters and sponsors whilst we race. More to follow...
Berghaus to keep us dry during the storms
Thursday, 29 October 2009 00:00
One of the world's leading outdoor clothing and equipment supplier's has agreed to supply us with the weather proof clothing we'll need for when the elements turn against us. Berghaus is donating two Temperance jackets and two pairs of Couloir Pant trousers. We have chosen Berghaus as their clothing is very lightweight in comparison to standard ocean foulweather gear. The Temperance jackets also allow great body movement, the articulated sleeves offer little restriction, and so helping us to row. The jackets and trousers are also crafted to allow maximum ventilation - this will help us to keep cool in warm but wet conditions. Thank you to Berghaus for your support - it is much appreciated.
1st Aid at Sea & Sea Survival Courses completed!
Monday, 26 October 2009 00:00
We've now completed two of the four courses required to race. On Saturday - thanks to our sponsor Marine Matters - we completed the 1st Aid at Sea course. The Atlantic will surely be a safer place now that we're certified 1st Aid-ers. And on Sunday we completed the necessary Sea Survival course - thanks to our sponsor Ondeck. Once in the pool it became very clear just how important the certification is. Getting in and out of the liferaft unassisted in a swimming pool - whilst fully kitted up - was difficult enough and so the idea of having to do it for real in stormy conditions in the middle of an ocean brings it home to us what we're about to go and do. We even learnt how to flip the liferaft the right way up incase it capsizes when we deploy her in bad weather. Being a marine, Jonnie was in his element and didn't want ot get out of the pool. I think we know who'll be on hull cleaning duties in the first week of the race. Thanks Jonnie!
Patience is on her way to the start line
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 00:00
Patience is now safely on her way to the start line. The boat was delivered to Tilbury Docks this morning at 8am. She'll be loaded into a container with another rowing boat and shipped sometime next week to La Gomera. On arrival to Tilbury Patience was introduced to five other rowing boats - all looking race ready and in smart team colours - before being lifted off her trailer and placed gently onto her own shipping cradle. Before leaving her she asked me to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in the project over the last two years. Patience is very grateful for your support and says she'll do her best to get Jonnie and me across the Atlantic safely and in good time. She singled out special thanks to Dobbin who spent the last few days helping to get the gear packed onto the boat.
Cardiff Covered Market & Morrisons lend a hand
Monday, 19 October 2009 00:00
Local businesses in Cardiff have rallied to help us and make sure we won't be going hungry whilst we're rowing. With only days to go before the boat was shipped we still needed to make 160 breakfast rations for the trip. Fortunately a generous offer by Morrisons of tokens to help reduce our food bill and a visit to our local store in Cardiff Bay enabled us to quickly buy the ingredients we needed - including 16 kilos of oats and 8 kilos of nuts. A second call was made, this time to Cardiff's Covered Market and soon we were vacuum packing our breakfasts, snacks and trays of flapjacks courtesy of A W Griffiths the butchers. All of Saturday morning and again today we've had friends helping out, spending hours weighing out the breakfasts and vacuum packing them for us. And it's been very humbling to see how quickly local businesses are willing to help out when we've been up against it.
Team Atlantic Dragon's boat christened 'Patience'
Saturday, 17 October 2009 00:00
More than 30 friends and family turned up for the christening and blessing of our boat before she's shipped off to the start in La Gomera. The rowing boat has been named 'Patience' as it sums up nicely what we've needed as the project has come together and what we'll need whilst we're rowing 24 hours a day for up to 80 days across the Atlantic. Patience was blessed by
Come in number 47!
Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00
The Atlantic Dragon team have chosen number 47 as our race number. So what is the significance of the number? Nick's Great Great Grandfather Captain Thomas Williams, from Bangor, North Wales, was born in 1847 and went on to become a Shipmaster in the merchant navy. The Shipmaster is responsible for the boat's safe and efficient operation including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws. All of which is relevant to us today so we're hoping the link to Captain Williams will bring us good luck and safe passage across the ocean.
Record year at the Brailes Show raises more than £350 for Atlantic Dragon
Sunday, 09 August 2009 00:00
It was a record year for the Brailes Show with more people than ever coming along for the day and we were there to join in the fun. A combination of great weather helping to pull in the crowds and a fantastic pitch given to us by the Show organisers meant we were always busy and by the end of the day we'd raised a fantastic £357.83. This was also a record amount of money raised by the Atlantic Dragon team at an event - so we're truly grateful for the generosity of everyone we met on the day. The raffle winner is Felicity Cooper - congratulations, your name will go on the boat and travel 3,000 miles across the Atlantic with us! We'd like to thank John Nerding, Peter Jordan, Andrew White, Michele Beames and everyone else on the Show committee for inviting us to take part. We hope we added something to the day and it meant a lot to me to be a part of a show that I have many fond memories of. See you all next year we hope!
1-minute rowing challenge - Brailes Show results
Saturday, 08 August 2009 00:00
John Coldridge 343 metres
Andrew Cooper 340 metres
Tim Gloster 338 metres
Rebecca Gilliam 291 metres
Alex 284 metres
Michelle / Amanda 283 metres
Micky White 297 metres
Charlie Gallagher 285 metres
Cameron 226 metres
Morgan Signs climb onboard to support Atlantic Dragon
Monday, 03 August 2009 08:35
Cardiff based company Morgan Signs have become Atlantic Dragon's latest sponsor. Rod Hill (photo left) and his team, including designer Mike Kitchin (photo right), will be supplying the livery, letting and graphics, graphic design services and installation labour - free of charge. This is fantastic support for us and will help to save a good deal of money. Their involvement will enhance our image and strengthen our brand identity. It also helps that everyone we have spoken to about signage has always recommended Morgan Signs. The first batch of sponsors logos will go on the boat this week - but there's still plenty of space for more. So get in touch if you want to know how you can get involved. Thanks again to Rod Hill and everyone at Morgan Signs for your support.
Triathlon teams raise £70 for Atlantic Dragon
Saturday, 01 August 2009 00:00
6 RBS colleagues competed in the London Triathlon today and helped to raise more than £70 for the Atlantic Dragon team. The 6 friends raced in two teams of three in the olympic distance relay event with (left to right) Johan, Ben and Lindi in one team and Susie, Iain and Stuart in the other. The first leg is a 1500m swim, next up is the 40km cycle and the triathlon finishes with a 10km run. It was an incredibly close race with Stuart (swim), Iain (bike) and Susie (run) winning in a time of 2 hours 26 minutes and 43 seconds and Lindi (swim), Ben (bike) and Johan (run) finishing less than 2 minutes behind. Thank you to both teams for raising money for us and to everyone at RBS who made a donation.
Cardiff Blues link up with Atlantic Dragon
Saturday, 18 July 2009 00:00
The Cardiff Blues and their fans celebrated the opening of their new stadium today and invited the Atlantic Dragon team to join in the fun. And we were lucky enough to meet some of the players, including Tom James, the Blues winger, who climbed onboard for a closer look. He was actually quite tempted to come rowing! We went along to fundraise on behalf of Cancer Research Wales, the official charity of the Cardiff Blues, and who we're raising money for in our row across the Atlantic. We helped to raise more than £50 on the day by hosting a mini rowing challenge. The winner was Nik Ions with distance of 351m - well done Nik. Thank you to the Cardiff Blues for allowing to come and take part - we can't wait for the start of the new season! Thanks also to everyone from Cancer Research Wales for your help.
Schools art competition winner announced
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 00:00
The winner of the Cardiff primary schools art competition to design our team logo has been announced today. The judges selected the artwork of 11-year old Catherine Lock, from St. Mary's RC Primary School, to be displayed on the front of the boat. Nearly two hundred entries were received from school children across Cardiff with the judges praising the high standard of work. Catherine's design will now be prepared by Cheeky Monkey Creative so it can be printed onto the boat in a couple of weeks time. Thank you to ex-400m World Champion and Olympic silver medalist Jamie Baulch, Executive Member for Education & Lifelong Learning Cllr Freda Salway and Bleddyn Edwards of Cheeky Monkey for judging the competition.
Viking to protect the lives of Atlantic Dragon team
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 09:13
One of the world's leaders in maritime safety is the latest company to sponsor the Atlantic Dragon team. Viking Life-Saving Equipment is giving the crew a liferaft. It's a compulsory piece of kit for the race and invaluable if things get nasty out in the middle of the ocean. The liferaft is normally the last possible means of rescue or evacuation in an emergency and so getting one of the best on the market is essential. Viking have also supplied us with an EPIRB and the flares we'll need for the race. Hopefully we won't need to use any of the kit... except for maybe a few flares to celebrate our arrival! For more information on Viking Life-Saving products please visit www.viking-life.com. Thank you to everyone at the Viking Hamble offices for your support.
1-Minute Rowing Challenge - South Wales Boat Show results
Monday, 15 June 2009 18:05
The 1-minute rowing challenge was very competitive with more than 100 men, women and children taking part over the three days. And the results are:
Ceri Pritchard 355 metres (pictured)
James Davis 354 metres
Noel Davis 350 metres
Under 14's challenge
Rebecca Bytheway 247 metres
Nicholas Dilling 245 metres
Ciaran Harris 238 metres
Catherine James 283 metres
Samantha Feneck 267 metres
Lyn Morgan 262 metres
Atlantic Dragon raises £290 at the South Wales Boat Show
Monday, 15 June 2009 16:41
The Atlantic Dragon team raised £290 at the South Wales Boat show this weekend. Thousands of people visited our stand to talk to us about the boat and the race, buy raffle tickets or take part in our 60-second rowing challenge. Congratulations to Daniel Parker who won the raffle - his name will go on the boat and make the 3,000 mile journey across the Atlantic with us. The 1-minute rowing challenge was very well contested with more than 100 people taking part. The top of the men's leaderboard changing hands up until the last few hours of the show on the Sunday afternoon. The most popular event was the Under 14s with 56 children involved. The youngest competitor was 5 and the oldest was Meinir Jones who was 87. Thank you to everyone who helped over the 4 days. Lastly a massive thanks to Ben Sutcliffe organiser of the show for allowing us to get involved.
Ice cream sales raise £20 for Atlantic Dragon!
Tuesday, 02 June 2009 00:00
An Atlantic Dragon team supporter has raised £20 by selling ice creams to people at work. Lily Mermaid came up with the idea when she noticed her colleagues getting all hot and bothered by the rising temperatures after the air conditioning stoppped working. So she went out and bought a box of ice lollies and sold them on to staff. A few licks of Lily's ice cream helped everyone cool down. I wonder what the favourite flavour was? The proceeds will go towards feeding the Atlantic Dragon team in our race across the Atlantic. Thank you to Lily and everyone who bought her lollies. Tell us your wacky ways of raising money for the Atlantic Dragon team - email your stories to
Cardiff primary school art competition launched to design boat emblem
Monday, 01 June 2009 09:00
Primary school children across Cardiff are taking part in a competition to design the team emblem. Year six pupils (10-11yr olds) are being asked to submit a drawing with a Welsh theme - and it must include a include a dragon! The winning entry will be printed onto the front of the boat and travel with us 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. We're really excited by this event as it involves the community in what we're doing. The winner will be announced on 15 July. Judges include Olympic silver medal winner, Jamie Baulch and BBC Radio Wales's Jamie & Louise. Thank you to Laurian Corner of Cardiff Council for organising the competition.
Baltic supply Atlantic Dragon with life-saving gear
Monday, 01 June 2009 00:00
Baltic Safety Products UK Ltd have supplied Atlantic Dragon with the safety harnesses (pictured) and lines we need. The life-saving equipment is critical to the on-board safety of the team when we're rowing and they'll be used at all times. This kit supply deal will save us hundreds of pounds. Baltic is one of the largest manufacturers of marine life-saving equipment in Europe. Thank you to Keith Hughes and everyone at the Baltic Hamble, Southampton, office. You can visit their website at www.balticlifejackets.com.
Beckley event raises more than £50 for Atlantic Dragon!
Sunday, 17 May 2009 00:00
Supporters raised more than £50 today for the Atlantic Dragon team at a fundraising event in Beckley, Oxfordshire. At least 40 people attended the talk and row-athon this afternoon. Emily Jillings (pictured) won the raffle and her name will now go on the boat. And she'll be in good company! Her name will make the 3,000 mile journey across the Atlantic with that of her grandad, John Delafield, after he won the 1-minute rowing challenge when he clocked up an impressive 237 metres in 60 seconds. Thank you to everyone who attended and to Geoff and Suzie Mills for their efforts in organising the day.
Sale of unwanted lamp raises £35 for Atlantic Dragon
Monday, 11 May 2009 09:00
The sale of an old tilley lamp has raised £35 for the Atlantic Dragon team. When 88 year old Lydia Pollock, from Troon, started to clear out unwanted household items she decided to try and sell them on the community website 'Gumtree' and donate the proceeds to us. Within a few days there was a buyer for her paraffin lamp. So thank you so much to Lydia Pollock. The money will be used to buy the jackstays - they run the full length of the cockpit and used by the crew to attach our safety lines to when we row. Keep the stories of how you're raising project or charity funds coming in - we love hearing them. You can email us on
Happy Easter to all our sponsors
Sunday, 12 April 2009 00:00
Happy Easter everyone – we hope you’re enjoying the sunshine and happy hunting for your Easter eggs. I’m sitting in gorgeous Cornwall sunshine...
Down in Cornwall seeking out summer training opportunities
Friday, 10 April 2009 00:00
I’m spending the next few days along the south coast of Cornwall looking for ideal summer training opportunities...
Atlantic Dragon set to have steering system fitted
Wednesday, 08 April 2009 00:00
We have finally decided on the type of rudder and steering system we want for the boat...
Eight months to go and we’re off
Monday, 06 April 2009 00:00
The countdown continues. In eight months time we’ll be sitting in our boat, on the start line, in the waters of La Gomera’s harbour...
Networking at the Force4 opening day
Saturday, 04 April 2009 00:00
We’ve made some great contacts through the Force4 chandlery opening day in Cardiff today...
We now have 6 days of food!
Thursday, 02 April 2009 00:00
We’ve just confirmed our 6th sponsor to feed us for a day of food...
Project fundraising tops £1,500
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 00:00
We’ve now successfully raised more than £1,500 pounds from friends and family – and there is still more out there to be collected. All of which is great news for us and we are very thankful for this support. This continues to be a great start to our fundraising drive to get the boat to the start line.
If you’re reading this and also want to sponsor the project then go to our ‘get involved’ section on this website. You can feed us, buy us a piece of kit either on your own or by sharing the cost with a group of friends and you can even get your name on the boat!
And remember, we’re still looking for corporate sponsors too – so if you think the company you work for or another company that you know of may be interested in becoming a project sponsor then please do get in touch. There are many ways a company can get involved, for example, providing some of the kit that we need or helping to cover the cost of the race entry fees. Call us to find out more.
Atlantic Dragon & Force4 Chandlery team up
Saturday, 28 March 2009 00:00
Force4 Chandlery has invited us to take part in the official opening of their new store in Cardiff’s Marine Village on Penarth Road. This is great news for us – we’ll have the opportunity to put the boat on display and get to talk to a steady flow of like-minded ocean lovers. So, thank you to Stuart, the chandlery manager, who has been very supportive of our row so far.
BBC Radio’s Jamie and Louise get involved
Thursday, 26 March 2009 00:00
Listen to Nick’s interview with BBC Radio Wales presenters Jamie and Louise. I had expected to be only on radio for 3-4 minutes, yet, as it turns out, I was invited to stay and talk about the row on air for more than 10 minutes over the course of their morning show. How could I refuse an opportunity to talk?!
And if you listen carefully I’m sure you can hear Louise offering to buy us the padded seat covers that we’ll need for the race. So, Louise, if you’re reading this, we’re waiting for our luxury cushions. Dobbin will want a medium and I’ll probably need a large (it’s the training!)
Project fundraising tops £1,000
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 00:00
We’ve successfully raised more than a £1,000 pounds now from friends and family with still more to come. This continues to be a great start to our fundraising drive to get the boat to the start line. If you’re reading this and also want to sponsor the project then go to our ‘get involved’ section on this website.
You can feed us, buy us a piece of kit either on your own or by sharing the cost with a group of friends and you can even get your name on the boat! And we’re still looking for corporate sponsors too – so if you think the company you work for or another company that you know of may be interested in becoming a project sponsor then please do get in touch. There are many ways a company can get involved, for example, providing some of the kit that we need or helping to cover the cost of the race entry fees. Call us to find out more.
Atlantic Dragon in the papers and online!
Tuesday, 24 March 2009 00:00
Well, that’s it – we’re now in the local newspapers and star in our own news feature video. We now have to make it happen and get to the start line.
Drop us an email and let us know what you think of the boat and our plans to row the Atlantic – we’d love to hear from you.
South Wales media get onboard at the press launch
Friday, 20 March 2009 00:00
The South Wales media turned out in force today to report on our row. The South Wales Echo will run a print and online version of our story, Real Radio will run the story over the weekend and Red Dragon plan to broadcast our story next week. Exciting times for the Atlantic Dragon team. The Echo will also produce a video of us talking about the challenge and rowing the boat on Cardiff Bay. We'll post the link once the video is published online. Highlight of the day has to be Dobbin's love of the camera - marvel at Dobbin as he makes his debut in front of the camera cleaning the boat!
The day was also the first opportunity for us to give something back to our corporate sponsors. We'd like to say thank you to Cardiff Yacht Club and Esporta Health club, Cardiff, for your support so far - it is greatly appreciated. We'd also like to thank all the staff of the Cardiff Harbour Authorities who have been fantastic to us - fisrtly to let us use the pontoons at Mermaid Quay and secondly in providing us with an escort from the Yacht Club to the Quay and back again.
Hopefully the media coverage will the start of something big - we're the only team in Wales entered into the race and we're raising funds for a local Welsh charity - so there's good reason to get behind us. Fingers crossed the media will pick up our adventure and run with it as it could make all the difference to the total amount we raise for charity if people know what we're doing.
More than 100 people attend the boat Open Day
Sunday, 15 March 2009 00:00
Our project fundraising campaign kicked off today and we marked the occasion with a Boat Open Day in Sutton-Under-Brailes. More than 100 friends and family came to have a look at the boat and talk to Nick about the row. We have raised more than £750 in project funding as well as more than £100 for our chosen charities - and there are pledges of support yet to be collected which will likely double the figure raised today. So a very successful first event. More importantly the day has given us the opportunity to tell people about what we're doing and why as it is so often the case that introductions to potential sponsors - individuals and corporates - comes through friends and family.
We'd like to thank Nick's parents for hosting the event and all of the hard work they put in leading up to the day and on the weekend itself - we're very grateful for their continued support and advice. We'd also like to thank Nick's sister Fi, Adam Mitchell, Jude Fladmark, Nicki and Will John, George Elphick and Susie Smith for all of their hard work over the weekend - particularly cleaning the boat on the Saturday and setting up and clearing away on the Sunday.
And the winner of the competion to get your name on the boat was.... Meg - my parents dog! Can I just say that the winning ticket was pulled out of a hat in front of a number of witnesses and there was no foul play. So it is the dog who is first to have their name put onto the side of the boat. We raised about £70 through the game and so thank you to everyone who played. And there'll be plenty more chances to get your name on the boat if you haven't already - just visit the 'get involved' section of our website to find out how.
And lastly, thank you to all of you who attended and have got involved by sponsoring us - the challenge wouldn't happen without your support.
Esporta Cardiff to train Atlantic Dragon team
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 00:00
Esporta Cardiff to train Atlantic Dragon team.
Atlantic Dragon enter the race
Tuesday, 10 March 2009 00:00
Team Atlantic Dragon to compete in the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race 2009.