The Indian Ocean Crew – Rachel Hearne, Billy Taylor, John Haskell and Alex Mason. Image: Scarborough Photography
Zhik has announced their support of Monkey Fist Adventures 2020 Brain Waves Challenge, an ocean rowing attempt to achieve two world firsts.
In 2020 the team of four will row unsupported and non-stop across two Oceans, The Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, to generate invaluable research data into Parkinson’s Disease and PTSD. They will row unsupported from Lanzarote to Antigua across the Atlantic Ocean, and then from Australia to Africa across the Indian Ocean
More importantly than being the first people to row two oceans in the same year, the Brain Waves team includes a crew member living with Young Onset Parkinsons Disease, who will be part of the Atlantic crossing. A crew member living with PTSD will join the team for the Indian Ocean crossing.
Working in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University, they will be collecting data for ground-breaking research that could lead to better drug and dietary therapies and rehabilitation programmes for sufferers of Parkinson’s, a condition which affects many people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Their data gathering will also provide the University with enhanced understanding as to how exercise benefits those suffering from anxiety and depression, to help treat PTSD, a condition suffered by an estimated 3.8m people in the UK alone.
The Brain Waves team will be using Zhik Isotak offshore gear to protect them from the extremes of ocean weather, as well as a selection of thermals, warm layers and garments to manage moisture and UV protection in the heat.
Brain Waves Skipper, Billy Taylor, said: “We are thrilled to be supported by Zhik for next year’s challenge. After wearing Zhik’s gear for a 70 day crossing of the Indian Ocean last year we cannot rate the functionality and durability of their high performance clothing highly enough. Our team will spend around 145 days afloat, rowing a 2 hours on, 2hours off shift pattern 24 hours a day, and getting no more than 90 minutes sleep at any one time. They will live, sleep and communicate with the outside world in a space that’s smaller than a double bed. Having the right technical clothing for when the waves are crashing over us. protecting us from harsh sun and wind exposure will play a critical part for our ability to achieve this extreme challenge.”
Zhik CEO, Piet Poelmann, said, “We are in awe of the Brain Waves Challenge and their record attempt, which goes far beyond a massive ocean row, and potentially will help change lives for thousands of Parkinsons and sufferers of mental illness. Zhik is excited and humbled to be supporting their two ocean challenges, which kick off early in 2020.”
The Indian Ocean Crew are John Haskell, Billy Taylor, Alex Mason and Rachel Hearne. For the Atlantic Ocean crossing Billy and Alex are joined by Liz Dennett and Scott Butler.
Billy Taylor and the Brain Waves Challenge team will be at the Southampton Boat Show with their boat on marina stand M176 for the duration of the Show.
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