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Mermaid Atlantic: The ocean rowing adventure of a lifetime

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With shared passions for the environment and exploration, three friends, including our very own Xavier Baker, make up the Mermaid Atlantic team who will compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2023, rowing to raise awareness of the preservation of ocean habitats and to raise funds for marine-focused environmental charities.

The world’s climate crisis is a shared concern for the three teammates, who all embrace the sea as part of their everyday lives, from surfing to sailing. They aim to raise awareness for two issues, water quality, including plastic pollution, and the protection of seagrass meadows which are home to native seahorses and incredible carbon sinks. The team will be actively selecting sustainable suppliers and have sought out an older Rannoch boat to refurbish, to minimise their impact on the environment and to highlight the effect waste disposal and human activity is having on the natural world. Mermaid Atlantic will be raising funds for Surfers Against Sewage, the Seahorse Trust and The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Chris Mannion, Paul Berry and Xavier were brought together through their love of the water, and between surfing, scuba diving and rowing they’ve a fair amount of experience at sea. However, two-thirds of the team are novice rowers, but they hope their shared determination will equal success under the guidance and instruction of Berry, a well-seasoned rower, as well as support from Newport Rowing Club. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge presents them with the chance to embark on a mental and physical adventure while raising funds for marine causes they are passionate about.

Xavier, our co-founder and Mermaid Atlantic crewmate commented:

“We are all focused and determined chaps with a good understanding of the sea and certainly know not to underestimate her. While we each have our personal reasons for undertaking such an exciting and challenging adventure, we’re united in our passion for preserving the oceans and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to undertake the Atlantic challenge to spotlight these causes.”

Embarking on ‘the world’s toughest row’, the team will leave La Gomera in the Canary Islands in mid-December 2023. They will need to row 3000 miles around the clock to cross the Atlantic and arrive in Antigua within 35 days to break the record in their class. We’re proud to support the team as their headline sponsor, helping them with the support needed to make it to the start line.

With their training already underway you can follow the Mermaid Atlantic team’s adventure and find out more about donation and sponsorship by visiting the teams website. For more information regarding the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge can be found here.

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