Hi, I’m Ant!
Born and bred in the North East, I’ve always thought I’ve lived quite an adventurous life, however those past adventures are soon to become a drop in the ocean compared to this one! I’m a keen snowboarder and skier, with the latter being something I’m not too bad at, having spent 4 months in New Zealand training to be a ski instructor. I love to go bouldering, but over the last year or so my focus has switched to CrossFit. This is definitely something that will be invaluable in my training over the next 18 months!
Other than being a bit of an adrenaline junkie, there’s definitely a quieter side to me. You could say I’m a bit of a science geek, having spent nearly a third of my life at university. And after 8 years of living the student life I finally realised I would have to join the real world.
Now for the embarrassing stuff! My guilty pleasures include a love of Disney movies and singing like no one is listening! Thankfully in the middle of an ocean a lack of people is an easy thing to come by!
Why do I want to do this?
Why not? In all seriousness, I honestly think it will be an incredible thing to do. There will be some amazing sights, some tough challenges and it will be an ultimate test of physical and mental endurance.
If you’ve had a chance to read about the boat and it’s name, Wave Warrior, you’ll already know that 22 years ago my dad raced across the Southern Ocean in the BT Global Challenge. This is something that has stuck with me since I was a little kid and has been a huge motivation behind me taking part in the TWAC.
And of course, having the opportunity to raise thousands of pounds for charity is a great motivator too!
What do I hope to gain from this?
Aside from raising money for charity, I guess there’s some quite personal reasons for undertaking such a daunting challenge. It’s not the rowing that is so unnerving, but actually the work leading up to it. By nature, I’m quite a quiet person, so having to really step out of my comfort zone and approach companies to sell myself and my boat to them to generate sponsorship is a bit distressing! So this challenge is really forcing me to face my fears!
And if you speak to anyone who knows me, one of the things I hate the most is having my photo taken. Sadly this is exactly what people expect to see a lot of when you are trying to promote yourself and the challenge you’re about to complete!!
It wouldn’t really be a race if I didn’t hope for some kind of record! But if that’s not possible and I manage to successfully cross the Atlantic, at least I’ll return with an incredible tan and hopefully the figure of a Greek God!
What do I think will be the hardest part of the row?
Christmas away from my family is going to be the hardest thing for sure. It’ll be the first time I have ever been away from them for Christmas Day and to compound that I’ll be all alone in the middle of an Ocean!
I’m sure at points during the race I will question my decision to do this and the motivation and drive to keep going will be severely tested. Realistically there will be times when it will feel pretty lonely, but I know I can also be quite stubborn and the fear of letting people down will hopefully spur me on during any darker times.
I would be lying if I didn’t include writing this page on my list of hardest things! But despite talking and writing about myself being horrible, I hope it has been an interesting read!
What am I most excited about?
Firstly just starting the row! I can’t wait to get to La Gomera and just get out there on the Ocean. I’m really looking forward to my first night out under the stars, with no light pollution and seeing the stars in all their glory.
I’m really hoping to see a plethora of wildlife, including whales, turtles and dolphins. If I do come across a whale, I will definitely be channeling my inner Dory and talking to it! Although due to the hallucinations I expect to have, I’ll probably end up just talking like a whale to myself!