The boat I shall be using for the challenge is constructed from Carbon and Kevlar which means that, although very light, she is incredibly strong... ideal for dealing with the North Atlantic Ocean.
She was built for Peter Van Kets who came second in the solo class of the Woodvale Trans-Atlantic Rowing Race 2009, between the Canary Islands and Antigua. It is a classic Woodvale design and he used Carbon and Kevlar to make her strong but relatively light.
Length: 7.2 metres Weight: 200 kg (unloaded)
Width: 1.8 metres Material: Carbon and Kevlar
The boat has a forward cabin for storage and an aft cabin which will be my living quarters for my time at sea, as well as housing my communication and navigation equipment. This is also where I will seek refuge when the weather becomes too rough to row. She has watertight compartments built into the hull which provide more storage space but most importantly this is where I shall store my ballast. Having enough ballast is vital for the boat as she is designed to be self-righting in the event of capsize....but only if there is sufficient weight in the bottom of the boat. This ballast will consist of 140 litres of fresh water, which will also double as my emergency water supply.
I had planned to name my boat “The Fox”, which may seem slightly unusual but there was a reason. My friend Colin Macleod is a singer-songwriter who used to perform under the name The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. He recorded a song called “The Fox” and the lyrics seemed to tap into part of my philosophy for attempting this challenge. It was only after choosing this name that I discovered that the very first boat ever to be rowed across the North Atlantic Ocean, by Harbo and Samuelson, was named “Fox”!
However, I am delighted to have ALBA as the Platinum Sponsor for my NY2SY Solo North Atlantic Row and therefore to carry their name on my boat. In many ways ALBA seems a very appropriate name for my boat as it is the Gaelic name for Scotland and I am a native Gaelic speaker.
ALBA is a great boat and we will be working together to get across the North Atlantic Ocean successfully. I will be putting all my trust in her to cope with the challenging conditions we are likely to encounter and to get me back to Stornoway safely. I have every faith in my boat to meet the various demands that will be made of her over the coming months and I am very grateful to ALBA for showing such faith in me and my challenge.
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves.”