It’s International Firefighters’ Day, so we caught up with Kris and Blair from Team Noble. Kris and Blair rowed in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity.
Why did you decide to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity?
(Kris) Being a Fire Fighter myself the charity was very close to my heart. The charity helps Fire Fighters whether injured, ill or in need of psychological support they exist to support the everyday heroes of the UK fire community. Our team name (Team Noble) derives from my own Watch Manager who was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2008, his name was John Noble. It had been 10 years since his passing and we wanted to do something big. What better than to row across the Atlantic, he would have thought we were mad.
You didn’t have much experience with rowing before- what was your experience like training? Was it daunting knowing what you were about to face?
(Blair) We didn’t get much sleep the night before the race, there was a wild gale blowing trees over outside and the sea looked fierce. Nothing can prepare you for what it is like out there. We had spent lots of time in the rowing boat in the years leading up to the event in Scottish waters but this was completely different.
How many weeks did the row take in total?
(Blair) 8 Weeks we were at sea and 2 weeks either side prepping.
How did you stay motivated and sane during the challenge?
(Kris) We sang songs and ate food together at nights, we also did a bit of fishing and on one occasion played a game of cards!! But we lost half the pack so that was the end of that.
(Blair) Seeing land was a massive relief and whilst out there the night skies and wildlife were out of this world. Bio-luminescence after every oar stroke and an immeasurable amount of stars.
How did you feel the moment you reached the final stopping point?
(Kris) It was a strange feeling, whilst overwhelmed to see our family, and especially my 2 young daughters, we also had a sense of our big adventure coming to an end. Life is very simple out there on the ocean and there was definitely parts we began to miss.
Would you ever do it again?
(Kris) Something different next time, we have a few ideas already!!