Yorkshire-based communications and PR agency, Counter Context, is backing team Ace of Blades – a crew of four women who, on December 12, 2023, will embark on an epic journey to row 3,000 miles unassisted across the Atlantic in a 25-ft boat.
Competing in the ‘The World’s Toughest Row – Atlantic 2023’ (formerly known as the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge), the all-female crew comprises Lizz Watson, Kit Windsor, Laura Langton, and Counter Context director, Beth Motley.
Together with a fleet of 39 other crews from around the world, the team will cross the start in San Sebastian La Gomera, Tenerife rowing two hours on two hours off for anything up to 50 days to cross the finish line in English Harbour, Antigua.
The foursome has set its sights on completing the challenge to fundraise for three charities close to their hearts: Macmillan Cancer Support, The Outward Bound Trust, and Prostate Cymru. Counter Context’s support for the team has put them well on their way to hitting their target of raising £60,000 for their chosen charities.
“All of us at Counter Context are in awe of Beth and her crewmates as they embark on this epic adventure”, explains Alexis Krachai, managing director at Counter Context.
“As a company, we like to push ourselves, think about things differently and to consider the world around us. We cannot think of anything more on brand than supporting a colleague who goes ‘I’m going to row the Atlantic.’
“It is also a reminder that beyond our work in communications, there is a huge world out there that needs respecting, exploring, and protecting. What this crew is setting out to achieve embodies the core values which sit at the heart of our business.”
Recently ranked in Prolific North’s Top 10 PR agencies for 2023, where it was also the highest-rated Yorkshire agency, Counter Context has delivered calm and considered communications and PR to help investors, developers, and government. It counts Island Green Power, Peel Holdings, Bradford Council, Canal and River Trust, and Ørsted among its clients.
Operating for over 30 years, the core values Counter Context holds itself accountable to – integrity, unity, knowledge, progress, and purpose – are embedded in what the crew is setting out to achieve.
The crew has spent the last two years leading up to the start ensuring they are as prepared as possible. Over the summer they completed the mandatory hours of training rows around the UK coastline required for them to qualify for the start then, last weekend, crossed another milestone when they delivered their boat to the logistics company shipping it to the race start.
“While there will be four of us actually on the boat during the crossing, rowing an ocean takes an army,” explains Motley. ‘A huge part of this journey is about getting to the start – and that involves more than just training. Developing partnerships and securing funding for our campaign is a big part of the challenge.
“Having the backing of my colleagues at Counter Context makes a massive difference to us being able to undertake this challenge and support the charities we’re championing. It’s going to be a really proud moment representing the business as we set off from La Gomera in December.”
- Each team will row more than 1.5 million oar strokes during a race.
- Team Fortitude IV achieved the fastest 24 hours ever with 107.45 nautical miles covered.
- The fastest row across the Atlantic was a four-man team The Four Oarsmen who finished in 29 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes.
- At its deepest, the Atlantic Ocean is 8.5km / 5.28 miles deep.
- The waves that the rowers experience can measure up to 20ft high.
- Each rower is expected to use 800 sheets of toilet paper during their crossing.
- In the 2016 race, solo rower Daryl Farmer arrived in Antigua after 96 days, rowing without a rudder to steer with for nearly 1200miles/40 days.
- The fastest solo across the Atlantic was Mark Slats who completed in 30 days, seven hours and 49 minutes.
- Rowers burn more than 5,000 calories per day.
- There is no toilet on board – rowers use a bucket!
- The average rower loses around 8kg during a crossing.
- In the 2018 race, solo rower Kelda Wood (Row 2 Raise) was kept company by a whale for nearly seven days.