mark BW2

Mark Sealey

BUSINESS OWNER & DAD OF FOUR

After a life playing every sport imaginable including rugby union, cricket, golf, tennis, but most notably semi-professional and representative football, what would be next?

I know, I’ll learn to row and I will start by rowing across an ocean!

The ocean rowing seed was sown after I watched Ben Fogle and James Cracknell row in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge back in 2005/06. It captivated me in every way possible and I couldn’t let it go. I contacted the organisers of the race to learn more and consequently embarked on the journey to get to the start line, no mean feat in itself.

The more qualifying rows I completed the more the power and magnitude of the ocean enhanced my desire to row the Atlantic.

And now here we are, just a few months away from the start line with a great project in situ and a fabulously strong team that is in the final stages of preparation, planning and training.

I know this is going to push us to the limits, there will be arguments, tears and moments of despair, but it will define each one of us forever and will be a life changing experience.

amy bw

Amy Wood

ROWER, COACH, CAREER IN CYBER SECURITY

My ultimate goal in life is to row an ocean; and to do that at the age of 25 is an utter privilege. Although…it does seem like I’m peaking too early; so I’ll have to use the hours rowing mid-Atlantic, in the darkness, to dream-up more gigantic adventures.

I have rowed competitively, in fine-boats, across the world then moved on to be head-coach for training camps in the USA. I have a pretty relaxed and unique coaching style. I would send off an 8-person boat with only two people in it; I would jump out the boat and try to capsize it; I would have the girls, sat in their boat, on dry-land for multiple practice sessions. Some people thought I was mad but my girls became the best and I hope I can bring my alternative view on training, fundraising and events to Force Genesis.

I’m a proud Yorkshire girl, working in Cyber Security now living in the sunny South West of England, striving to challenge the common conception that the North South divider is the M25 circular – p.s. it’s not!

Being in the tech sector, it’s easy to be engulfed indoors which makes me more excited to get out on the ocean. The fresh sea breeze, the unpredictable environment and most of all… the essential vitamin D!

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the icing on top of an already pretty incredible sporting-career cake, having been on the England Karate Squad too. But more importantly, the opportunity to use my skills and determination for more than just wanting to win and be the best – being able to utilise the race as a platform to raise a life-changing amount of money for two incredible charities is the upmost honour.

December 12th 2020 – we’re coming for ya!

Gemma Best

GIG ROWER, MUM OF TWO, SENIOR ANATOMICAL PATHOLOGY TECHNOLOGIST

I adore the sea. So much so, that around four years ago, I moved to the South West to be closer to the water and have the chance to enjoy the plethora of activities the water opens up.

Three years back, I started rowing Cornish Pilot Gig boats and after my initial introductory training, I was immediately selected to be a member of the Ladies A Crew! I have raced ever since, including at the World Pilot Gig Championships twice and I represented Somerset at the County Championships.

By day, I’m a Senior Anatomical Pathology Technologist… and from this? I have learned to enjoy every moment and experience I possibly can in life; and I wish the same for my two children. Since becoming a mother, my upmost aim has been to show them that they can achieve anything in life with passion and determination!

Years back, to row the Atlantic Ocean was my ‘stretch’ goal – something that almost seemed a little too far fetched and slightly unreachable…but as life has progressed, I’ve never felt more hungry to achieve anything I set my eye on. My determination is somewhat surprising to some as I’m extremely laid back but trust me, it makes me a force to be reckoned with.

Our charities lay so close to my heart; being in my profession as a frontline worker myself. I’m extremely proud to be taking on this gigantic challenge to raise vital funds, especially in such unprecedented times.

My family are very proud too and – thank fully – extremely supportive. Although they are wondering what will be next – I mean, what’s bigger than taking on the Atlantic Ocean?!

My three Grandchildren…well, they think I’m Moana.

gemma BW