Earlier this year, V Formation announced our PR support for team Generation Gap – a four-man team including a father and daughter set to take on the 2020 Talisker Whisky Challenge, a 3000-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean.
Generation Gap is taking on the challenge in aid of Rural Assistance Nepal, Women’s Aid, Royal Marines Charity and Mind, with the ultimate goal of raising £100,000 to share between the four charities.
With less than two months to go until the team departs from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to make the trip across the Atlantic to Antigua in the Caribbean, we provide an update on how their training and fundraising has progressed and the adaptations they have made to prepare themselves amidst a global pandemic for the challenge that lies ahead.
Generation Gap return to the water
Victoria Micó Egea (30), Edward Raymont (29), Brittany Staniforth (27) and Brittany’s father Roger Staniforth (59), make up the four-man rowing Generation Gap team.
Brittany, who worked as a doctor at Bradford Royal Infirmary during the pandemic, says: “Life in lockdown has meant the last few months certainly haven’t been plain sailing for Generation Gap. The group has had to adapt to training apart from one another, develop new types of stamina and strength training whilst the gyms have been closed, as well as face the challenge of not being able to get out on the water for real rowing practice.
“But with less than two months to go until the race begins, we are feeling more committed than ever to raise as much money as we can our four chosen charities. The relaxing of social distancing measures in August meant we were finally able to get back out in our boat, Mandy, a Rannoch R45 built specifically for the team and race.”
Virtual workouts: building strength and stamina
Reflecting on the time spent training in lockdown, Edward, who is the team’s skipper, says: “It has definitely been a difficult few months as we, like so many across the UK, have had to adjust to the new normal. Social distancing measures have made rowing together in a small boat completely impossible, so we have focussed our training on building strength and stamina, doing virtual home workouts together where we can.
“Getting experience in our boat – named ‘Mandy’ after Roger’s wife and Brittany’s mum – is essential to the team’s preparation for the challenge, as we need comprehensive knowledge of the boat’s functionality for when we are in the Atlantic’s rough waters.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has truly emphasised the social inequalities faced by many, and we’re prouder than ever to be supporting charities that have proven invaluable to countless people during lockdown,” Victoria adds.
“To even attempt the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, we’re required to have spent a minimum of 72-hours rowing in our boat, including 24-hours in darkness. At first, I felt anxious about how it would feel to be back in the boat, as there’s only so much training you can do off-water and in limited space at home. But as soon as we were out there together as a team, it just worked.
“The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a formidable feat on its own, without factoring in a global pandemic. But we’ve seen just how important the work of our charities has been in this time, and that has motivated us to train harder than ever.”
The team had a number of events lined up this year to support their fundraising efforts but due to lockdown and restrictions on large gatherings, they have had to find new ways to raise money for their chosen charities. This has included four members of Roger and Brittany’s family organising and running their own marathon, which raised more than £1,000 for Generation Gap’s charities; individuals and work colleagues becoming ‘Generation Gap 250’ supporters by donating at least £250 to the campaign, in return for having their name or logo added to the boat; and many businesses, both large and small, getting on board and becoming corporate supporters.
Generation Gap in the news
As one of Generation Gap’s official supporters, V Formation is providing PR support to the team in the run up to the big event in return, helping to raise their profile and awareness of the four amazing charities the team is fundraising for.