Facing the Power of the Atlantic – An Oardacious Expedition

The Campaign: Its been a busy 8 months for the HMS Oardacious team since we officially announced our Atlantic campaign on 1 Nov 2018. We have built a successful sponsorship campaign that has seen an incredible flow of support from a wide array of organisations from the Submarine Enterprise, our Defence affiliates and other organisations that support our UK Armed Forces, all in the name of Charity and Adventure. We have seen that sponsorship is not just about advertising but an alignment of values and a belief in a common goal, in our case we are incredibly grateful to all the organisations that have supported us so far and with whom we are really excited to share this journey.

The support we have received has not only financially to cover the significant costs of taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge but also the help to build our reach, tell our story and hopefully inspire as many as possible, showcasing all that is good about Royal Navy Submariners.

Our story revolves around the CASD50 milestone – 50 years the Royal Navy Submarine Service has sustained a Nuclear deterrent – We’re specifically aiming to recognise the human endeavour and commitment necessary to sustain such a milestone.

It therefor seems apt to announce that we will be attending the Anti-Submarine Warfare conference in London (kindly hosted by our recently announced Bronze Sponsor ‘Defence IQ’). The event will cover the key topic that as the submarine threat to the Alliance grows, it is vital that NATO’s ASW forces can operate together decisively. We’re honoured to be a part of such an event and showcase our endeavour to 50+ operational and capability experts across air, surface and sub-surface.

Training: Our team has been in training for over 9 months to row over 3000 miles, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s dockyard, rowing in pairs, 2 hours on, 2 hours off, 24 hours a day, every day for approx 40 days. We will face waves of upto 20 feet high, scorching equatorial sun, salt sores and seasickness. We’re therefore delighted to announce the support of our wonderful new Bronze Sponsors: ‘SunGod’ have provided us custom built sunglasses (which can be ordered directly through their website) to protect our eyes from the sun. ‘MalibuSun’ have supported our crew with enough factor 50 sunscreen for 40+ days of constant exposure (an essential for our 2 ginger and one “auburn” rowers) and Queezibics are generously sponsoring us with anti-seasickness ginger biscuits!

We have followed a rigorous training programme, preparing ourselves both physically and mentally for the challenge that lies ahead; enlisting the expertise of Navyfit’s Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor (POPTI) Samual “Simmo” Sims who is leading an experienced support team, not only coordinating our Strength and Conditioning training, but also enlisting the services of experts from the Institute of Naval Medicine to provide our Nutrition plan and Lt Cdr Peter Reed OBE (3 times Olympic Rowing Gold Medalist) who is now providing us with a series of Mental Resilience workshops to not only to help prepare us for the challenge ahead but also build our common goal setting mentality – in our case, our goal is to win the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The Charity- Mental Health: Mental Health and Resilience is fundamental to the Royal Navy Submarine Service and HMS Oardacious. In recent years the Armed Forces have worked hard to recognise that Mental Health and Resilience are just as important as wellbeing. It is well understood that everybody has a certain capacity for stress and pressure in their life and through better understanding we can work to ensure that capacity isn’t overwhelmed. HMS Oardacious will raise over £100,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity to develop a project that supports mental health and resilience in the Submarine service; beyond that we aim to build a lasting legacy in the HMS Oardacious name where others can take on extraordinary challenges to support wellbeing. We will work with Healthcare professionals and support organisations to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues; we want to say its okay to put your hand up if you need some help.