Blog · Nov 13, 2013

Now here’s a truly ‘Crazy’ goal! Our very own Ella is rowing across the Pacific in 2014

Ella Hewton, our Head of Making it Happen, has her own ‘Crazy’ goal; rowing across the Pacific Ocean in a four woman crew.

Ella and her team have three world records in sight and with an estimated 7740 woman hours of rowing ahead of them, it certainly meets our definition of a big, ambitious, ‘Crazy’ goal!

So, what will get the team across the Pacific?

At a speaker’s night at the Butchers’ Hall in London on Monday 11th December, a line-up of brilliant speakers shared their own expedition and adventure experiences with the crew and a large group of friends and supporters. They had some great advice for Ella and her team:

Dave Cornthwaite, the adventurer recognised the need, in these early days, to put on Bullsh*t filters. “Whenever you plan a big adventure people will come up with a lot of negative fears, from overturned boats to shark attacks. You certainly have to take your business seriously but you also have to know when to ignore your critics.”

Emily Penn, expedition leader and oceans activist, horrified us with pictures of the enormous plastic gyres she’s studied in the Pacific and Atlantic. She warned the team to expect “the sound of pieces of plastic hitting your hull. It’s scary at first but sadly you’ll get used to it”

Martin Hewitt, injured ex-Forces Everest Expedition Leader, had some fantastic advice about understanding your team so you can manage critical pressure situations. “If you don’t really understand each other’s motivations, someone will quit. Understanding why you are all there makes the tough calls work when the time comes”. (I loved the parallels to the work we do with in-tact teams in critical business situations – having everyone in an office decide why they want to be on this team is as critical as out on the ocean waves)

Danny Crates, Paralympic 800m world record holder, encouraged the team, “Life does not throw challenges, or oceans, at you that you cannot handle”. He went on to illustrate how the team could apply this by talking about making sure they stayed focused on the small, daily changes. “These subtle changes are really hard to implement but they are the things that make a big difference over time”.

We’re proud to be supporting Ella all the way on her big challenge and we’ll keep you posted on how her journey continues.


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