Ascent are on Board for the Atlantic 4 World Record Atlantic Rowing Attempt

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In November 2005, the Atlantic 4 crew from the UK are aiming to beat the current world record crossing time in the Woodvale Events Ocean Rowing Race, and they have teamed up with one of the UK's leading performance coaching consultancies to meet this challenge.

Clay Lowe and Peter Freeth are leading performance coaches who together created Ascent, a unique adventure coaching experience that combines powerful coaching with a physical challenge to reveal and overcome the inner barriers and fears that prevent people from realizing their dreams. The combination of the physical and mental challenge is exactly what faces the Atlantic 4 rowing team as they attempt to set a new world record.

The race will be held over the 2904 miles from St Sebastian de la Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the West Indies. The Atlantic 4 crew comprises George Simpson, Dave Martin, Neil Wightwick and Glynn Coupland, 2 of whom will be rowing and 2 resting, changing places every 2 hours throughout the journey. The current world record stands at 36 days, 59 minutes and 30 seconds, which the Atlantic 4 team are aiming to beat.

The Atlantic 4 team are supporting the Anthony Nolan Trust, the UK's largest stem cell and bone marrow register, and are actively seeking sponsorship partners to support the world record attempt. Any money raised over what is needed to complete the challenge will be donated to the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Dr George Simpson, one of the Atlantic 4 crew, says “We chose Ascent on the recommendation of a local company, Big Fish, who use them regularly for team strengthening events. Our decision was made easier when we discovered that they have a proven combination of endurance athletes and highly acclaimed sports psychologists.

Our challenge requires two superhuman efforts; firstly we must be able to row for 12 hours a day in 2 hour shifts, for over a month. Secondly, we must be able to live in a 23ft by 6ft boat with 4 driven men on board who are starved of sleep and mental stimulation. For us to achieve the first, we need to be at the very peak of our physical ability and to achieve the second we must be totally able to accept the needs of the people around us, accept that they are tired and not irritate each other to the point of madness. With Ascent on board, we aim to build the physical and mental strategies which will lead us to a world record breaking crossing.”

Clay Lowe’s US Military experience lends itself on several levels to the needs of the team. “Having spent 68 days surviving on little food, even less sleep across jungle, mountain and desert terrain, I can relate to the physical and mental hardship these guys will have to endure. I have experienced the mental toughness required to put mind over body and to not only function personally, but to have to lead men under such conditions. I'll also be using my master fitness training to help them hone their physical prowess. I'm also no stranger to fundraising having had to raise £12,000 for Raleigh International’s Kinabalu Challenge.”

Peter Freeth says, “We are very excited to be part of the team that gets Atlantic 4 across the ocean in a world record beating time. Maintaining the right mindset for anyone is critical, and for the Atlantic 4 team will mean the difference between setting a new world record and not. Forming a cohesive team is also vital for the crew so that they can continue to motivate and support each other throughout the voyage.” That high performance mindset is vital for anyone, and the skills that Peter applies to the Atlantic 4 team are the same that he uses to help business teams achieve consistent high performance.

The Ascent experience, created by Peter and Clay, is an opportunity to get away from the daily routine, relax, spend time with an inspiring group of people and reassess what is most important in your life. Participants find that the whole Ascent weekend helps them to rediscover their passion for life and realign their goals with what is most important to them.

“We recognized that there is increasingly something missing from people’s professional lives – a sense of challenge, of adventure, of taking the opportunity to achieve something truly amazing with your life” says Peter Freeth. “There are many people running outdoor activity weekends, but they’re not giving people the high quality coaching and reflection that is an integral part of Ascent. Ascent is focused on you, as an individual, transcending your dreams. It combines the best aspects of an executive retreat and high quality coaching whilst working with an amazing group of people.”

The Ascent program comprises intensive coaching, personal discovery work, time for reflection and a climb to the 1085 metre summit of Mount Snowdon in North Wales. It promises to combine powerful personal development with a real sense of excitement and adventure.

Clay Lowe adds, “Ascent is for people who know they could achieve so much more in life if they could shake themselves free of their everyday chains. We’re inviting people to leave behind the ordinary world and join us for a real personal adventure. There is nothing else like Ascent, combining climbing with the personal focus and comfort of a retreat weekend, where people can really explore what is most important to them and get life changing results.”

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