Video: Four soldiers from the Army Foundation College set to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean

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Four soldiers from the Foundation College are in training to row the Atlantic Ocean for .

They are competing in the Talisker Whiskey Challenge, a 3,000 mile race from the Canary Islands to Antigua. The fastest teams do the crossing in 6 weeks, but 100 days or more is not unheard of.

This is the first time an British team have competed, with all the rowers coming from the Foundation College, Uniacke Barracks in .

The team is being led by the college’s Commanding Officer, Rich Hall.

  • Captain Chris Hames
  • Private Kian Helm, 18yr old Private soldier, just out of Basic Training
  • Team skipper is Lieutenant Colonel Rich Hall MBE
  • Captain Alex Walsh
Captain Chris Hames Private Kian Helm, 18yr old Private soldier, just out of Basic Training Team skipper is Lieutenant Colonel Rich Hall MBE Captain Alex Walsh
Captain Chris Hames Private Kian Helm, Lieutenant Colonel Rich Hall MBE and Captain Alex Walsh

The teams need to be fully self sufficient, carrying food and converting sea water to drinking water. They also need to be able to maintain the boat that will be their home for around 35 to 40 days.

They will row for two hours on and then have two hours off. During the time away from rowing, they will attend to personal hygiene, especially salt build-up, eat and do any necessary work on the boat.

They are aiming to consumer 10,000 calories per day, but that may be difficult to reach. Each ration pack is 1,000 calories and with lack of sleep, appetite can be reduced.

Water is made by using reverse osmosis, solar panels and lithium batteries. The water is stored in bottles and kept alongside the rowing positions.

Lieutenant Colonel Rich Hall MBE, said:

We are all instructors at the Army Foundation College and we wanted to do something that really showcased what we do for young people.

And that the Army is great employee that focusses on travel, adventure and opportunity – all the things the army stands for.

I am really excited about the challenge and it showcases exactly what we want the army to be.

Private Kian Helm will become the fastest teenage ocean rower in the world if we manage to cross in less than 42 days.


The team are in training with a gruelling regime at the college’s gym and yoga at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Harrogate. David Lloyd are also a sponsor.

Private Kian Helm said:

It’s all in the head, if you can manage your fitness and have the right mindset you can do anything in life,

They are aiming to raise £100,000 for the Army Soldiers’ Charity, the ABF  they provide lifetime support for soldiers.

See https://www.forceatlantic.com/ for further information.

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