I’m Nick Zambellas, from Leigh originally and currently living between London and Dorset.
Myself and four friends, led by my Australian friend Nick Honey, will be rowing non-stop between Ibiza and Barcelona around 27 July (depending on the weather window) in a race against an Irish team.
The race itself will take around three and a half days – if conditions are good – with two teammates rowing continuously in shifts throughout that time.
The row is a major test of physical and mental endurance. The risk of injury and weather play as great a part as outright strength. We will sleep in two small cabins fore and aft and cook dehydrated food on a gas stove tucked by the aft cabin.
The rowboat herself, Danielle, is a self-righting, ocean-going rowboat with navigational equipment and solar panels. She was built to row the Atlantic by Justin Adkin of Beer. Although the boat is pretty high tech itself, sadly the toilet facilities are just a bucket…
It’s been a difficult few months preparing for the race. Not only have we had to build up strength while gyms were shut, we’ve also had to complete a number of sea safety and navigational courses.
I’m planning to keep team morale up by singing sea shanties, and bringing a large amount of biltong and chocolate. I’ve been designated as chief of navigation by my teammates, so fingers crossed I get us into Barcelona safely!
We’re rowing to raise money for Noman Campaign, a charity which campaigns for awareness of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a largely under researched virus which is a causal agent in 5% of all cancers.
We’re aiming to raise £5,000 each – we’ve paid all admin, course and travel costs ourselves so any money donated will go straight to Noman Campaign.
Extra box –
NOMAN is more than a race, it’s a call to action. HPV is the causal agent of 5% of cancers. Cancers which can be prevented by vaccinating both boys and girls against this devastating virus. NOMAN challenges participants to row the Mediterranean in order to spread the message about HPV, and to support the charity’s education and advocacy programmes to ensure that both boys and girls are protected against HPV.
“In 2013 the Barcelona-Ibiza: Row to End HPV was NOMAN’s inaugural rowing challenge and an outstanding success, raising over $1 million and attaining press on an international scale. This was the beginning of the NOMAN Mediterranean races which have continued to grow and expand, now consisting of 2 separate legs: Barcelona to Ibiza and Ibiza to Barcelona – with 12 crews taking on these races in the most recent edition. Throughout the years, our rowers have faced the blistering sun, combated fierce winds and rising sea swells, and beaten fatigue and sea sickness. All in the name of preventing 5% of cancer.”
By: Laura Hitchcock