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Mark from Momentum Completes the World’s Toughest Row

FREE TO USE: A Delft-based team of four finishes second in the World’s Toughest Row – Atlantic 2023 in a time of 36 days, 11 hours and 5 minutes. With 38 teams taking part from 16 countries, Team Out of the Blue – Amir Anwar-Hameed, Marko Rehbein, Mark Bolger and Paul Heijnen – rowed into English Harbour on Thursday 18th January, at 15:44 local Antiguan time.

 

Many of our blog readers will know Mark Bolger, Momentum’s Sustainability Specialist who joined us in April 2021. Mark is a lovely person, great fun and hugely enthusiastic about the natural environment and social justice. So when he asked to go part-time to train to row the Atlantic with 3 others Team Out of the Blue as part of the World’s Toughest Row, we were in awe, of course, and delighted to support his adventure.

“World’s Toughest Row brings together teams from all walks of life united by the same objective: to take on the unique challenge of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat. The atmosphere is electric as people help each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Teams battle with sleep deprivation, salt sores, and physical extremes inflicted by the race. Rowers are left with their own thoughts, an expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side.”

World’s Toughest Row Website

When we met for our Christmas party, we heard all about Mark’s adventure. Mark was joining Team Out of the Blue, alongside Marko Rehbein, Amir Anwar-Hameed and Paul Heijnen. The team were rowing 3,000 miles – from La Gomera to Antigua. We couldn’t contemplate the lack of bathroom facilities and the limited diet of three dehydrated meals per day and then 2400 kcal worth of snacks per day.

Team Out of the Blue at Christmas – via Instagram

As we were enjoying our Christmas dinners, Team Out of the Blue were rowing. They welcomed in 2024 from their small boat in the middle of the huge Atlantic Ocean.

Team Out of the Blue welcome 2024 – via Instagram

For 36 days the Momentum team have been glued to the live stream of the race and Team Out of the Blue’s Instagram page. We have been cheering Mark and his team mates on every step of the way. We’ve watched with bated breath as boat weathered the storm, some of the other teams dealt with 3-meter-high waves, causing seasickness among rowers. Team Out of the Blue had an amazing navigation support crew who had been skilfully guiding the team along the southern route, and away from the worst of the storm.

FREE TO USE: A Delft-based team of four finishes second in the World’s Toughest Row – Atlantic 2023 in a time of 36 days, 11 hours and 5 minutes. With 38 teams taking part from 16 countries, Team Out of the Blue – Amir Anwar-Hameed, Marko Rehbein, Mark Bolger and Paul Heijnen – rowed into English Harbour on Thursday 18th January, at 15:44 local Antiguan time.

 

After 36 days 11 hours and 5 minutes, Team Out of the Blue crossed the finish line in English Harbour, Antigua, to a rapturous welcome from their family and friends from Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Team Momentum were glued to the edge of their seats watching the live stream and cheering the team. They came a mighty 2nd overall in the race, and were 1st place in the teams of four category.

FREE TO USE: A Delft-based team of four finishes second in the World’s Toughest Row – Atlantic 2023 in a time of 36 days, 11 hours and 5 minutes. With 38 teams taking part from 16 countries, Team Out of the Blue – Amir Anwar-Hameed, Marko Rehbein, Mark Bolger and Paul Heijnen – rowed into English Harbour on Thursday 18th January, at 15:44 local Antiguan time.

 

Team Out of the Blue have not only accomplished the adventure of a lifetime, but they’ve also been raising money and awareness for mental health charities MIND US and JIGSAW. As part of their mission, the boat also served as a ‘floating data lab’ collecting information for Reef Support. Out of the Blue are passionate about promoting ocean literacy and raising awareness about the importance of marine conservation. The team are also inspired by the engaging learning programs provided by The Ocean Race, which are suitable for schools, at-home learning, community and youth groups, and sailing clubs. Their programs support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 14 Life Below Water, which aligns with our goal of mobilising marine conservation efforts for healthier oceans. Find out more about Mark and his team on their website: https://www.outoftheblue.team/

A huge well done to Mark and all of Team Out of the Blue. We couldn’t be prouder!

 

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