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Crew Profiles for the “TOBY WALLACE” & “OYSTERSHACK” November 2014 Atlantic Crossing


TaliskerWhiskeyAtlanticChallenge_BrianFinke©_2012_004Simon Chalk – Skipper of the “Toby Wallace”.  Based in Shropshire, from Leicester. British (42)

Simon is the skipper of Toby Wallace and arguably one of the worlds most experienced ocean rowers having now completed 8 ocean rowing crossings on the Atlantic and Indian oceans.  Most recently in the Guinness World Records 2015 book for the “most ocean rows by one person” and “youngest male to row the Indian Ocean” in 2003, this latest row will see him reach number 9……when will he stop?! He has a vast knowledge of ocean rowing and is raising money in memory of Toby Wallace who he rowed with in 2012 and you can donate at

Noel Watkins (TW Nov 2014)Noel Watkins – First Mate onboard “Toby Wallace”.  New Zealander (49)

Noel is a great asset to the crew – he has rowed the Atlantic before in 2012 onboard this same boat when it was named “Titan”, alongside Simon Chalk, Toby Wallace and Paul Williams.  His background as a Super Yacht Captain for over 20 years; a professional sailor and having served in the Royal New Zealand Navy means he has much experience to bring.  He is also an avid skydiver with 100s of sky dives logged…although this won’t come in handy onboard!  He holds the current record for the oldest Kiwi to row the Atlantic and is excited to be having another crack at the Atlantic record as well as racing “Oystershack”!

IMG_7900Roland Burr – Based in Harpenden, Herts.  British (42)

Roland walked to the North Pole last year and has been looking for his next adventure – and that’s why he’s onboard the Toby Wallace in November!  He is a busy husband and father to three young girls as well as running his own property development company, Rockwell London.  Obviously not busy enough though, as he competes regularly in adventure races such as Tough Mudder, Warrior Adrenaline Race, Tough Guy and the odd marathon!  He is raising money for a local charity, Keech Hospice Care, a very worthy cause which you can donate to here:  

John Farndale (TW Nov 2014)John Farndale – Based in Gloucestershire, from Teeside.  British (42)

John has been wanting to do an Atlantic row since watching Ben Fogle and James Cracknell in the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race.  Now he’s going to make his dream come true this November onboard the Toby Wallace.  He has been in training for this row for years as a result although usually is found walking in the hills or at the local gym rather than doing any ocean rowing!  John is using the row as a fundraising tool for the Prostate Cancer charity, after losing his father to the disease a few years ago, and who he will be rowing in memory of.  You can donate to John’s cause here:

Stephen Harpin (TW Nov 2014)Stephen Harpin – Based in Cound, Shropshire.  British (47)

Stephen set up and runs Shropshire Adventure Rowing Club several years ago, and in 2013 the club acquired a Woodvale Fours ocean rowing boat from Simon Chalk.  Since then, he’s been having lots of adventures with Irish Sea crossings, rowing the Caledonian canal, coastal rowing and racing.  He still finds time to row with his Rowing Club in their fixed seat Longboats, which are a bit of a change from an ocean rowing boat!  He runs a busy company called ChoiceShops based in Telford and prior to this was in the Royal Navy.  He also is a busy father of four so is constantly on the go!  He has been training for the Atlantic for the past six months and can’t wait to get going.  He is raising money for his local Scout Hut and you can donate here:

Oliver Waite (TW Nov 2014)Oliver Waite – Based in Porthleven, Cornwall.  British (27)

Oliver is back for his second Atlantic row in less than a year! He rowed onboard the Toby Wallace in February 2014 with a fast crossing time of 32 days, 22 hours and is back for more….. Previously a Business Development Manager in Dubai, Oliver is now back in Cornwall running the family business “The Ship Inn Porthleven” and enjoying being part of the community in a great coastal location! As ocean rowing goes, it’s pretty hardcore to do two rows in a year and Oliver is looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to get back out there!  Oliver is raising money for Made For Life Foundation and you can donate here:

Jeremy Webb (TW Nov 2014)Jeremy Webb – Based in Barnstaple, Devon. British (43)

Jeremy enjoys many outdoor pursuits – from ice climbing in Scotland; mountaineering in the Alps to kayaking in Wales!  He started rowing five years ago with the then newly formed Ilfracombe Pilot Gig Club and is now a very active member of the club enjoying all the races and regattas through the year.  A busy father of three – two girls and one boy – Jeremy will sadly be missing two of their birthdays this year whilst he is rowing!  And with a change in circumstances in the past few years, Jeremy will be relocating back to Southampton straight after the row, and feels the opportunity to do an Atlantic row seemed a good way to start the next chapter of his life!  He is also using the row to raise money for the North Devon Hospice and you can donate to Jeremy here:


IMG_3618Paul Williams – Skipper of “Oystershack”.  Based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.  British (47)

Paul is an experienced ocean rower having completed THREE Atlantic crossings since 2009, and an engineering consultant by background he now works freelance.  Very level headed and a great ocean rower – plus he can fix pretty much anything!  He is really into his kayaking when he’s not ocean rowing, and enjoys travelling too.  Our favourite fact about Paul…. he used to be a semi professional fire breather and juggler of knives and machetes – although this is obviously useless on board!  This will also be Paul’s second Atlantic crossing this year as he was onboard the “Toby Wallace” in February.  He’s looking forward to being skipper and racing across to Barbados!

IMG_0869Matt Inglesby – First Mate onboard “Oystershack”.  From St Helens, Merseyside. British (22)

Matt may be young in age but trust us, this guy is a phenomenal ocean rower.  He crossed the Atlantic with both Simon and Paul in February this year onboard the “Toby Wallace” and loved his crossing and is back for more! Matt is a personal trainer; a runner and cyclist having done many endurance challenges before the row this year.  He is very capable and a will make a great First Mate to Paul.  He will also be after the record for the “youngest person to row two ocean crossings in a year” when he gets to Barbados!  

Kevin Doyle (OY Nov 2014)Kevin Doyle – Based in London, from Ireland.  Irish (27)

Kevin is a subsea diving engineer, used to working in confined offshore locations with the same people every day for weeks on end so feels this experience will be helpful for the row – although the dinners they have are very different!  He has previously rowed for Exeter Rowing Club and has completed the Irish equivalent of Lands End – John O’Groats cycling too.  He loves running too and is big into his fitness on a daily basis.  He enjoyed being on the Thames for the Great River Race in September on the “Toby Wallace” and is looking forward to the challenge of an ocean row – something he has been thinking about since 2008!

Mads Fabricius (OY Nov 2014)Mads Fabricius – Based in Marstal, Denmark.  Danish (29)

Mads is using this ocean row as a “warm up” for his own ocean crossing next year!  He is an incredibly accomplished endurance athlete having competed in numerous Ironman’s worldwide; the off-road triathlon World Championships; Ultraman Canada; crewed for cycle event Race Across America five times; record holder in Ultracycling and also the winner of the European Cup of Ultracycling in 2010! A strong character, Mads has overcome and is cured of the debilitating mental illness, schizophrenia, and you can read about his amazing journey back to health by clicking here.  Whilst rowing is not a discipline he has conquered yet, he is a competent sailor and owns a pedal-powered boat WiTHiN which he will use to cross the Atlantic in 2015 – His strength of character and background in endurance will make him a real asset to the crew.

1395293_1377243515849207_1312891511_nChristophe Legeais – Based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.  French (49)

Christophe is a French businessman who runs his busy company Plastil in Telford.  A husband and father, he travels extensively with work but also on lots of different adventures – a keen mountaineer, Christophe has climbed the North Face of the Eiger and has rowed the Irish Sea twice in a Celtic longboat.  He is an active member of Shrewsbury Adventure Rowing Club with Stephen (onboard “Toby Wallace”) and most recently was part of a longboat crew who won their category in the Great River Race in September 2014, although the Atlantic is slightly longer than the 21.6 miles on the Thames!  He is looking forward to being able to row every day on the ocean….