Freshwater Scotland will be keeping a keen eye on the Southern Indian Ocean over the next three months after sponsoring The Rossiter Avalon expedition, which is attempting to set a new world record for the longest non-stop row ever completed.
Freshwater Scotland ensured that Rossiter Avalon crew had a fantastic send off before leaving the UK by securing coverage in publications including, The Telegraph and Metro UK newspapers, BBC Radio and STV News.
The expedition, led by skipper Leven Brown, departed Geraldton in Australia on Wednesday 11 June and will arrive in Durban, South Africa in approximately 80 to 100 days’ time.
The Rossiter Avalon crew of seven are rowing 24 hours a day in two hourly shifts. They are unsupported and could face up to 80 foot waves on what is considered the most dangerous stretch of ocean in the world. All the crews before them that have attempted to row the Indian Ocean from continent to continent have failed. The furthest anyone has reached prior to this is Madagascar, with the others docking in Mauritius some 1,600 nautical miles away. The last attempt at this voyage was made last year by Ralph Tuijn, who narrowly escaped death when his rowing boat was crushed by a container ship.
If successful, the expedition will not only make the Guinness World Records but will also go down in the history books as one of the last great world firsts.
Crew member, Edinburgh-born Jamie Douglas-Hamilton is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton and commander of 602 City of Glasgow squadron, who was one of two Scots pilots who were the first to fly over the summit of Mount Everest in 1933. Today, the Houston-Mount Everest Expedition takes its place as one of the last great pioneering flights before the era of space travel. Last year, Jamie’s brother, Charles Douglas-Hamilton recreated the expedition to mark the 80th anniversary of his grandfather’s legendary journey.
The expedition is also raising awareness and money for Save the Elephants, a charity set up by Jamie’s cousins. Dr Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Oria Douglas-Hamilton have been working tirelessly to Save the Elephants. Iain is considered the world’s foremost authority on elephant behaviour in the wild. Their trans-Africa census mapped the population of African elephants, proving that between 1979-1989 the populations of African elephants halved. Their 10-year census led to the worldwide ivory trade ban in 1989.
A rise in demand for ivory in China and Vietnam has caused the price of ivory to soar so dramatically it is now more expensive than gold, and Save the Elephants predicts that, at the current levels of poaching, the African elephant will be extinct in just eight years’ time.
If you’d like to donate to Save the Elephants, please visit Jamie’s JustGiving Page: http://www.justgiving.com/rowing-for-elephants or if you’d like to track the expedition’s progress, visit http://my.yb.tl/Scotiaexplorer/map-only.