Philip Pugh, director at Adventure Mobility, has turned to the industry for support of a charity challenge which would see him and friend Paul Hopkins become the oldest pair to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
The pair will take part in the Talisker Whisky Row Challenge which will see them rowing the Atlantic in December, leaving from La Gomera in the Canaries and rowing nearly 3,000 miles to Antigua.
Pugh and Hopkins are raising money for two charities, Tiny Lives and The Fire Fighters Charity, and have so far struggled to get corporate backing.
The pair, who will be rowing as Atlantic Dream, hope that they can garner enough support from smaller businesses, individuals and companies within the mobility industry to raise enough funds to take part in the race.
Pugh said that it is around £30,000 just to cover the costs of the challenge, which includes getting the boat to the start point and back out of Antigua.
As well as funds, Atlantic Dream is also on the hunt for equipment like specialist seating and mattresses to help them in their challenge.
He said that after failing to gain support from corporate sponsors the pair have decided to ‘row for the people of Newcastle’.
“We are taking the boat to places all over the North East and getting people to sign it,” Pugh said. “We’ve got the boat about 30% covered with people’s signatures now. We’re selling a donation of £3 upwards. So people can come across the Atlantic with us in spirit.”
Atlantic Dream has also been asking smaller businesses for sponsorship from smaller businesses in return for their logo on the boat.
Pugh hopes that the mobility industry will be able to help the team in one particular area.
“One of the biggest issues is kit and we’re pretty desperate for it. We don’t have the most suitable seats for rowing on. When I’ve been to Naidex and other exhibitions I’ve seen some significantly interesting equipment similar to memory foam.
“I’ve been desperately trying to find that for two reasons. One is when we sit one of the biggest problems is bum sores.
“But also mattresses, we have a very small pod in which one of us rests at any one time. We don’t have an appropriate mattress that is comfortable. One area of sponsorship is for someone to provide equipment like that.”
Pugh, who has completed a number of physical feats for charity, including swimming the channel and cycling Route 66, said he and Hopkins are confident of making the start line and finishing the challenge.
“We’re confident we can manage it. The two critical issues are sleep deprivation and see sickness, and of course the mental challenge. We are hoping to be home within 60 days. Hell and high water we’re going.”