Connect with us


Phuket expat’s Row2Rio begins push to equator

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The two men and two women undertaking the Row2Rio challenge have launched into the third section of the trip – the longest leg of the journey with the most unknown factors that could end up making or breaking this unprecedented adventure.

“It’s a 950 nautical mile push to the equator. This stage will dictate whether we can get this new route done the way we want to. This stage will contain areas of mixed currents, no wind or waves and generally plenty of unknowns,” wrote Luke Richmond, Aussie expat and head coach at Unit27 in Phuket. “This is what we signed up for, a new route across the Atlantic to Recife.”

This week the team finished stage two of the trip, which saw them complete the 780 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde.

With full backing from the Ocean Rowing Society and support from ocean rowing experts, the team departed Portugal on February 29, beginning a 3,200 nautical mile man-powered journey to Brazil (story here).

“It’s funny to think that in giving up the ‘normal life’ back in Sydney, leaving business and money behind and moving to Thailand I fell into an opportunity to row across an ocean, something that takes years of planning and tens of thousands of dollars to achieve,” wrote Mr Richmond. “I guess Paulo Coelho said it best: ‘give up what you’re meant to be doing to seek your destiny and you will realize that your destiny is what you’re meant to be doing’.”

Mr Richmond – already in peak condition from incorporating a NeuroPhysics training program from Ken Ware into his weekly schedule of crossfit, climbing and adventure training – was invited to join the rowing challenge after one of the team members was struck with appendicitis just two weeks from their scheduled departure. Without hesitation, Mr Richmond jumped on a plane to meet with Susannah Cass from Ireland, Mel Parker, also known as ‘Big Wave Whisperer’, from the UK, and Jake Heath, also from the UK.

Mr Coelho also wrote, “I can only conclude that worse than hunger or thirst, worse than being unemployed, unhappy in love or defeated and in despair, far worse than any of all those things, is feeling that no one, absolutely no one, cares about us.”

Though Mr Richmond might agree with Mr Coelho on this point as well, it appears that food, especially Top Herd jerky, has become a priority in the lives of the rowers.

“It’s funny what your mind goes to and what you crave out here. I’m craving a massive salad and sweet potato fries above all else. A new currency has formed at sea, the currency of food,” wrote Mr Richmond. “Food trade has begun and there are certain commodities that carry more weight then others. I have loads of chocolate so I can trade decently for Mel’s biscuits and nuts, but no one will give up their Top Herd jerky, no matter how many delicious treats I offer them. This jerky stands alone as the best I have ever had and is favored by all of us”.

The Phuket Gazette was unable to confirm whether or not Top Herd jerky is a sponsor of the event, but if they aren’t, they should clearly be making a donation to the Macmillan Cancer Support Foundation, which the team is raising money for.

“We fully support their ethos that no one should face cancer alone, currently one in four people are isolated facing cancer. Our target is 200,000 pounds of which 75,000 pounds will be to fund the boat (which we’ll sell at the end and donate the proceeds to Macmillan) and 125,000 pounds for the charity, which is enough to fund two Macmillan nurses for two years,” explains the Row2Rio website.

Support their efforts to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support by clicking here.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand1 hour ago

Tourism officials eye August reopening under “Pattaya Move On” travel scheme

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Covid vaccine for foreigners, PM “not going anywhere”, Boss update | June 15

Best of2 hours ago

Top 8 Affordable Hotels to stay in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand3 hours ago

Central Bankruptcy Court approves Thai Airways debt restructuring plan

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 secret islands and beaches in Thailand

Best of3 hours ago

5 best national parks in Phuket

Thailand3 hours ago

Australian man arrested for alleged child sex abuse in Thai border town

Best of3 hours ago

10 best fruits and vegetables in Thailand

Thailand3 hours ago

3 dead in 3 truck crash in Surat Thani

Thailand4 hours ago

Bangkok Post and Fazwaz join together to galvanise property listings platform

Bangkok5 hours ago

CCSA has yet to begin talks on lifting alcohol ban at Bangkok restaurants

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Yala enters lockdown today

Thailand5 hours ago

Thai police say they’ve gathered “strong evidence” on transnational drug trade

Phuket5 hours ago

Indonesian fisherman rescued after 9 days adrift at sea

Thailand6 hours ago

More than 100 cats rescued from owner

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8