Preparing to take on the North Pacific Ocean singlehandedly – Charlie Martell and his boat Blossom
In 12 months’ time former Royal Engineer Charlie Martell will be setting off from Japan in a Guinness World Record attempt to be the first person to row solo across the earth’s largest sea mass, the North Pacific Ocean. It is expected to take Charlie, known as the Charitable Adventurer, up to six months to row single-handed, land to land, the 5,082-mile ocean, which covers 46 per cent of the Earth’s surface, to reach the USA coastline. He is doing so in aid of three charities – Veterans in Action, the Allied Forces Foundation and Give Them a Sporting Chance.
His mission also has the support of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal who has become involved in Row Pacific 2019 as Guardian. She is also the Guardian of Give Them a Sporting Chance, a charity which Charlie currently Chairs. Also supporting Row Pacific 2019 is the military and environmental defence system company, Hesco. The Yorkshire-based barrier-system design-firm previously sponsored 47-year-old Charlie and three Army team mates in the inaugural Shepherds Ocean Rowing Race between New York and Cornwall in 2006, and then on his first bid to conquer the North Pacific in 2012 – which had to be abandoned when Typhoon Mawar struck, damaging his boat, Blossom.
Now seaworthy again, Blossom and Charlie, named Team Hesco, are counting down to returning to the high seas for a second attempt at the Guinness World Record in May next year.
“The North Pacific is not an easy ocean and 2019 will not be an easy trip but we are now ready to try again. It is a testament to the design and rigorous build of Blossom that she survived the 2012 storm albeit with damage to the bulkhead after a pitch-pole capsize. We have strengthened the aft cabin where I sleep and seek refuge,” said Charlie, who will be leaving his wife Emily and children, two-year-old daughter Olivia and newborn Angus, at their home near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.
“I am very grateful to Her Royal Highness for her support and incredibly proud to be associated with Hesco again. Without their support in 2006, I wouldn’t be where I am now – preparing for the Pacific again!” he added.
Although physically preparing for what the solo rowing challenge has in store is important, gearing up mentally is even more so. “My physical training is around maintaining average fitness through running, cycling and swimming. I don’t need to have the physique of the top sprint runners, in fact I’ll be looking to gain a stone in weight before I set off but do have to be able to cope with being totally alone, for a very long time, in silence, with just water all around,” explained Charlie.
“Preparing mentally for this is difficult but I’m looking at training techniques such as meditation to help me.”
Charlie is no stranger to adventurous fundraising, having taken part in a number of trekking, sailing and micro-light ventures over the years. While with the Royal Engineers he saw active service in Iraq, Bosnia and Northern Ireland and, on leaving the army, joined the humanitarian sector specialising in clearing explosive hazards, including working with The HALO Trust, clearing landmines in Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique and the Republic of Georgia.
Hesco CEO Michael Hughes said: “We admire both Charlie’s sense of adventure and his passion to help and protect people; qualities that reflect the Hesco values. Row Pacific 2019 is going to be an exciting venture and one that Hesco will support all the way.”
Caption: Preparing to take on the North Pacific Ocean singlehandedly – Charlie Martell and his boat Blossom