Why is Adam rowing across the Atlantic?

Adam will row from Africa to South America in December 2012 with three teammates from Washington, USA.  The crew will be raising funds for Right To Play and collecting data on human physiology and ocean biology, physics and chemistry for researchers at the University of Washington, WA, and the University of Calgary, AB.

The most common question Adam receives about the row is, why?  Why are you rowing across the Atlantic?

Adam explains:

First, I love to learn.  Taking on new challenges is a great way to expand your potential and gain new skills and perspective.  Rowing across the Atlantic will be physically trying, but even more challenging are our current preparations of logistics and team dynamics.  These are the elements that inspired me to take on this project.  I want to learn first hand the answers to questions like, How do you plan and execute a multifaceted team project with members based in two countries and three different cities?  How do you raise hundreds of thousands of dollars towards the execution of a fundraising project?  How do you manage risk effectively?  What sort of psychology is needed to accomplish a feat as great as rowing self supported across an ocean?

Second, I love connecting with people and building community.  Liberians, Venezuelans, Canadians, Americans, and the Coast Salish Peoples…  What commonalities do we share and what differences can we celebrate?  The row will connect Right to Play community projects in Liberia and Venezuela, and our goal is to inspire others across North America who follow our journey to take on new and invigorating challenges of their own.

Third, I am a nerd and I’m happy to report that science is cool.  My teammates and I will be collecting research data on human physiology and ocean biology, physics and chemistry along our voyage.  The data we collect will contribute to increasing our understanding of the planet, the human condition, and the relationship between the two.  We have partnered with researchers at the University of Washington, WA, and the University of Calgary, AB.

Fourth, I like to surround myself with success and I am inspired by my teammates.  Jordan is an adventure writer, Greg is a physiotherapist, and Rick is an aerospace engineer.  All are driven to find and push their limits.

Fifth, I want to inspire youth to develop a love for work.  A key to finding fulfillment in life, is developing a love of work.  There is little chance of children developing a love for hard work and a sense of determination through traditional school work; children are more likely to adopt these traits while engaging in activities they enjoy – like play and adventure.  Children can then transfer these essential skills across disciplines, whether academic or otherwise.  Otto Loggers, a graduate of Harvard’s School of Education, has joined the OAR Northwest team to create curriculum that will inspire children to get outside, be active and choose their own adventure.

Finally, I believe that the secret to living is giving.  Martin Luther Kind Jr. said it best: “Success is judged by the quality of your relationship with humanity”. I have worked with Right to Play since 2004 and I’m passionate about furthering RTP’s mandate of using play and sport to lift children from poverty, disease and war across the world.  OAR Northwest has partnered with Right To Play to raise funds and awareness for their cause.

Row Details

OAR Northwest‘s Africa to the Americas 2012 expedition will span 60-80 days and an ocean’s breadth between Liberia and Venezuela.

Departing from Monrovia in early December 2012, the OAR Northwest crew of four men will row the open ocean self-supported, 24 hours per day, and in two-hour shifts.

This nearly 4000nm Atlantic-crossing and Guinness World Records attempt leaves no room for mistakes and much less for sleeping quarters on their 29-foot rowboat.

The ocean-crossing will demand from the crew demonstrated expertise in meteorology, navigation, nutrition, oceanography, technology, shipboard and oceanic emergencies, expedition planning, sport medicine, interpersonal communication, leadership and, of course, perseverance.

With a goal of connecting children from communities separated by a vast ocean and cultures, the expedition team is rowing in support of Right To Play – an international nongovernmental organization whose philosophy is to impart skills of responsibility and self-reliance that leave a lasting impact for children.

OAR Northwest has also joined forces with the Robert Bateman’s Get To Know Program with the shared goal of encouraging youth to embrace outdoor play and to reflect on their experiences in nature through art.  While the OAR Northwest crew prepare to row the Atlantic and circumnavigate Vancouver Island, BC, they will challenge youth from across North America to get outside and create art about their experiences.  A chance for youth to win a visit to one of America’s most historic national parks will be announced in 2012!

We would be pleased to share more information about the expedition.  If you’re interested in learning more or helping out, please be in touch.