GB Row 2013

Atlantic Race 2011

This page has been added primarily to thank all those people, friends, family and sponsors alike that have donated not only money to our cause but time and effort in both helping to plan, fulfill and support Team H2rOw's entry into the Atlantic Rowing Race 2011.

On the 5th December 2011 (a day later than planned due to bad weather) the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge began.  Team H2rOw was represented by John Higson and Barnaby Mabbs (a late replacement for Ant who unfortunately had to withdraw from the event).  Only two weeks into the race the crew experienced critical electrical difficulties and it was with great difficulty that the decision had to be made to retire from the race.  What follows is a debrief of the event from John:


"In brief, the electrics (batteries) were touch-and-go from only the second day into the race.  As the days went by the problem only became worse up until the point at which the batteries would have almost completely discharged following onlya couple of hours of darkness.  This left the boat and us in it without any form of beacon (AIS, SeaMe, Fixed VHF, even Nav light) to other vessels during the night and hugely compromised the safety of the challenge.

Adding to our problems was the leaking of the main hatch.  As 'freak' waves broke over the boat, they would (somehow) force water through the seals and this was later found to be making its way behind the electrics.

We also experienced problems with the steering system, beyond simply not having an auto-helm!  The cord broke on two separate occasions before having to bodge together a full-on rope mechanism higher up the hull, not a pretty fix but it was holding for the time being.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who emailed; Tam, Lawson and Rich to name a few, for not replying.  If I'm honest, I only managed to pick them up on dry land due to us not being able to use/charge the laptop in order to save battery power.  I would like to thank you all for kind words of support, I think you all mentioned about how you'd become 'dot-watchers' and it made me smile.  Thank you also to everyone else who was following our progress online, who knew dot-watching could be so fun…



Why have they gone round in a circle…?

Why have they gone 'a different way'…?

So many questions I guess some of you will have.  In answer to the two above as they seem the most common.  The wee circle we did at the start was largely due to us not having an auto-helm when we chose to go on the para-anchor.  It was pretty rough that first night and the waves were hitting the boat side on so we 'bedded down' for the night with the anchor on then woke up in the morning to find not only our lead gone but the fact we were halfway back to Gomera!  In answer to the latter question, I had made the decision to go South from waaay before beginning the race.  If a crew gets in trouble with bad weather, 90% of the time it will be the crew(s) that are furthest North.  Safety therefore (and the hope of favorable trade winds) dictated the more southerly route before turning West.

If anyone has any questions the do feel free to email me:

Thank you again to you all.

In the hopes of making up for the early rather early departure, I think I've persuaded Ant to do the second half of the erg (row) we did in the shopping centre so hopefully that'll end up raising a fair whack for charity again with all the donations collected during it going direct to our charities.

Thank you all,