At the beginning of the year, we were approached by James Whittle and Tom Caulfield, two friends that, together, make up rowing team The Tempest Two.

The pair had a bold and ambitious plan. They wanted to row the Atlantic Ocean, they wanted to do so unaided and, in the process, they wanted to raise significant amounts of money for their chosen charities, Make a Wish Foundation and Brain Tumour Research.

One final detail was that neither of them had ever set foot in a rowing boat before.

We were in.

Since pledging our support, the two have been focusing on preparing themselves both physically and – more importantly – mentally, for what is widely perceived to be the toughest endurance challenges on earth (less than 500 people have successfully completed the voyage).

That’s meant early mornings in the gym, long evenings on the rowing machine and what have no doubt felt like even longer weekends out on the Thames and the North Sea, getting in those all-important hours on the water.

Last week, we bid bon voyage James and Tom. Armed with a Porlex hand grinder, an Aeropress and as many kilos of Kasigwa as their boat is able to hold, they boarded a plane to The Canary Islands. There, they’ll be spending their final week on land making last-minute preparations and arrangements before their grand depart on Sunday 13th December.

Between The Canary Islands and Barbados (their finishing point) lies 3,000 miles of seemingly endless open water, bringing with it sharks, hurricane-force storms, busy shipping lanes and, of course, the constant risk of capsizing. Anticipating at least 60 days at sea, they’ll spend the majority of those with no sight of land as they adhere to their grueling schedule of 2 hours of rowing followed by 2-hours of well-earned rest.

We wish them luck in what will no doubt be one of the hardest challenges either of them ever had to face and have every faith they’ll achieve everything they set out to do.

As we look forward to their updates, we’ll be monitoring their progress via their tracker page and will continue to keep you updated on how they’re getting on.

If you’d like to support James and Tom’s efforts, you can do so by visiting their website here.