Force Genesis

Ocean rowing team taking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge


Force Genesis are a team of four Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challengers taking on the epic row in December 2020. The team are leading the competitors as they prepare for the challenge training, raising funds and garnering support to get them to the start line so they can raise money for their brilliant charities.


The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a 3000-mile row across the Atlantic. Since 1997 this ocean rowing race has attracted the brave and intrepid to pit themselves against the elements and race from La Gomera, Canary Islands, to English Harbour, Antigua. More people have been into space than have rowed the Atlantic Ocean, and it is rightly considered to be one of the toughest challenges on the planet.

The race begins on December 12th, with up to 40 teams participating from around the world. The rowers will have to cope with blisters, salt rashes, sleep deprivation and rowing in two-hour shifts around the clock for weeks on end, facing all the raw elements of the Atlantic Ocean.

The team are made up of Amy, Mark, Jooles and Gemma. Amy is in Cyber-Security, both Jooles and Mark are business-owners and Gemma is a Senior Anatomical Pathology Technologist. The whole team have numerous rowing and sporting accolades under their belts and have been dreaming for years about this challenge and what they can do for their charities. Gemma has also been working hard on the frontline during this pandemic and this pushed the team to take on their second charity in May.

Serv Wessex, East Midlands Freewheelers and Devon Freewheelers, all regional Blood Bikes groups, are the team’s primary charity. Blood Bike groups across the UK provide a vital service for the NHS. They are run entirely by unpaid volunteers and transport blood, patient notes, organs, human breast milk, Covid-19 tests and much more, the length and breadth of the country. There are over 3,000 volunteers across the UK who carry out upwards of 75,000 emergency runs for the NHS each year. It is estimated their work saves the NHS around £1.5m per year, reducing the need for the NHS to use a private courier service.

Force Genesis were touched by many stories from those who have benefitted from the work the Blood Bikes do and from the founders who put so much of their time and effort into providing this invaluable service.

Founded in March 2020, Duty to Care is a new initiative supporting NHS staff at this stressful time by offering free mental health and wellbeing facilities, including one-to-one online sessions.

There are already a huge number of experienced practitioners offering vital support via the charity including CBT therapists, psychotherapists, mindfulness teachers, meditation experts, breath-work experts, nutritional therapists, personal trainers and yoga teachers.  Hundreds of NHS workers have already accessed the services for free and the £40-per-session fee for the therapist is covered by donations made to Duty to Care.

Like the entire country, all of the Force Genesis crew have experienced first-hand the amazing work our NHS workers do and when supporting Force Genesis in their quest to row across the Atlantic, funds will be going directly to these charities. The team are aiming to raise £100,000 for these charities emulating previous race goers who have raised this kind of sum.

The team need all the help they can get to ensure they have all the equipment, food and systems in place ready for their row and once they are at the start line the team will then focus all their energy on raising funds for these fantastic charities…oh, and racing across the Atlantic of course!



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