Teesside dad part of first team in history to row from New York to London

Credit: Ocean Revival

A Teesside dad and his fellow teammates became the first people in history to row from New York to London.

Ian Clinton had battled a staggering 72 days at sea to complete the 3,700 mile journey.

Ian and his teammates Matt Mason from Accrington, Jordan Swift from Chorley, and Simon Chalk from Devon. Credit: Ocean Revival

Over £60,000 Funds had been raised for the Royal Marines Charity and Ocean Generation, in the hope of supporting the Royal Marines family and increasing awareness about the need to protect our oceans.

The team set off from Liberty Landing Marina on 31 May. Credit: Ocean Revival

Friends and family of the 31-year-old from Ingleby Barwick can be heard cheering him on with a Tees chant as the team finished their mission at Tower Bridge on 11 August:

We spoke to Ian Clinton more about the challenge:

  • What inspired you and your team to take on this mission?

  • What kind of support did you receive?

Ian said: "I remember being on the mid Atlantic receiving photos from a school that we never visited who had heard of our challenge and were supporting and spreading our message. A great lift for us that day!"

"A lot of kind and positive messages have come through that still catch me off guard such as people saying we or I am an inspiration, it is something that I never thought myself as really."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also had tweeted the team to congratulate them.

He wrote: "Inspiring to see the Ocean Revival 2020 team cross the finish line of their epic 3,700 mile row from New York to London.

"You've done this country proud and raised huge funds for Ocean Generation and the Royal Marines charity in the process."

  • What was the hardest part of the journey?

The moment when Matt was able to be pulled back onto the boat Credit: Ocean Revival
  • How did it feel when you completed the challenge as you arrived in London?

Ian Clinton with his daugher Isla and partner Hannah Edge Credit: Ian Clinton
  • How would you sum up the entire experience?

Footage of the team rowing through the turbulent waters:

  • What's next for your team?

Ocean Revival had two charities on-board: The Royal Marines Charity (RMC) and Ocean Generations (OG).

Ian said: "We have seen first-hand what this charity is capable of and the fantastic work it does supporting all of the Royal Marines family, from the injured or fallen veterans to aiding families of all Royal Marines past, present and future."

Ocean Generations (previously known as Plastic Oceans UK) are a global movement that aims to restore a healthy relationship between humanity and the ocean through science and storytelling.

Ian added: "I must admit that I didn't know a great deal about plastic in our oceans until I embarked on this challenge, but it has been one of the most insightful and fulfilling parts for me."

The team had also achieved other challenges in the build-up to the north Atlantic crossing, including a 30-mile commando march/hike, National 3 peaks, UK channel swim, and swimming the length of lakes in the Lake District.

The North Atlantic is a notoriously difficult and unpredictable body of ocean that is often avoided by sailors who opt for the more southerly route.

In the ocean rowing community, it is a highly respected route, having been attempted 79 times with 49 failures, and sadly taking the lives of 6 ocean rowers.