On the 12th of December, Team Emotive set sail on their mission to complete one of the world’s most difficult ocean rowing challenges – the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, all in the name of raising money for mental health charity, Veterans at Ease.
Landmarc Support Service (Landmarc) has been a proud sponsor of Team Emotive and their boat, named Oardrey (a play on words on the Anglo-Saxon translation for Noble Strength), since they first pledged to take part in the world-renowned challenge back in 2021.
Comprising of three Armed Forces veterans and an experienced ocean rower, Team Emotive is now over half-way into their 3,000-mile journey from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua.
Firmly into their two hours on, two hours off rowing routine, the race will be pushing the team to their limits both physically and mentally. The forty-day row will see Team Emotive experience an average weight loss of a staggering 15kg each, despite consuming 60kcal per kg of body weight, per person, per day.
Completely unassisted, the team of four are carrying absolutely everything required for the trip onboard, including all equipment, food and non-biodegradable waste that is produced. Any waste left unaccounted for at the end of the challenge will result in instant disqualification.
Two support yachts are on standby should the team get into difficulties, but these could be up to five days away while out at sea – meaning Team Emotive are completely reliant on manpower, their vessel, and the elements.
Area Delivery Manager at Landmarc and Royal Navy veteran, Jason Watkin is heading up the boat as Skipper, accompanied by Garreth Murrell – veteran and CEO of Veterans at Ease, Royal Artillery veteran Chris Harvey, and Phil Kite, who previously rowed the Atlantic in 2018.
Placing 23rd in the race (as of 9th Jan), the team have faced an issue with the auto-helm, a marlin attack to the boat’s daggerboard, countless birds and flying fish landing on the crew, and reportedly worst of all – team member Garreth’s dad jokes.
The team spent Christmas day playing festive music, opening presents and cards from loved ones, eating all-day English breakfast (from a packet) and were followed by a big shoal of fish. In the days between Christmas and New Year, the team were met with extreme winds and 20ft waves which eventually calmed down enough for Garreth to safely get in the water and clean the bottom of the boat, which should help the team to sail more smoothly in the second half of the race.
On Boxing Day, Team Emotive’s Skipper, Jason commented: “The boys are back on it and working hard today to make up for the few hours we took off yesterday for team building and celebrating – not just Christmas, but life itself and each other’s company. The nights are long, but the skies are utterly amazing! You can see millions of stars and the Milky Way almost looks painted onto the sky.”
The majority of Team Emotive have had their own individual struggles with mental health and are now beneficiaries of the charity Veterans at Ease. CEO Garreth Murrell founded the charity after completing a series of therapy sessions and going on to become a practitioner himself.
Veterans at Ease is a free to use service, committed to helping veterans, reservists, serving military personnel and their families deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress-related issues.
Before starting on their journey, Garreth commented: “A unique benefit of coming to Veterans at Ease is that we employ veteran practitioners. This ensures those who need our help can speak to someone who ‘gets it’ – there’s so much to be said for talking to someone who can relate directly to your personal experiences, and even have a bit of banter with us too.”
To show your support for Team Emotive in their mission to raise money for Veterans at Ease, visit and donate at https://bit.ly/3ZbkLf2, and follow them on Facebook to see regular updates. For more information on Landmarc Support Services, please visit www.landmarcsolutions.com