"I often think back to the moment when William confronted me with his idea for this amazing adventure. I must admit that I was sceptical and advised him against undertaking such an unbelievable challenge...but then had to admit that I would have been off like a shot if I was William's age!"
"For me it has been a continual learning curve. I've watched two determined and dedicated young men put so much into an adventure which to a normal person seems impossible, but to Daniel and William (and now me too!) is possible and so exciting! Further confidence of this came about when I met Dan for the first time; it was obvious that they were immensely supportive of each other. I saw on so many occasions, and I really felt that if anyone could achieve their dream these two could. They communicated well with each other and watching them packing Blue Steel up before its trip out to The Canaries, they just got on with sorting everything out; they had really gelled as a unit. This was also very evident when we caught up with them in La Gomera, sorting out the boat and preparing for their voyage. One slight disaster almost took place when William asked me to write something on the inside of their cabin and, of course, with my disability I got stuck and horror upon horror it was almost three in the boat! But at least I had got on board with help from them both and experienced how confined the cabin was. Now the heat has turned it into a sauna!
From a very early age, William loved his sport, particularly rugger and there weren't many weekends when he wasn't playing. I was his chauffeur and companion, not only in England but overseas tours as well. I loved watching him, having greatly enjoyed playing myself until I was in my late twenties. During training for this row, he has given up this contact sport but he was a very successful outside centre/left wing/full back for his London club - Hammersmith and Fulham - Dad is still on the touchline! I always remember William taking an almost impossible pass and crashing down the touchline to score a try; the coach saying 'that boy's got glue on his hands!'
It was on Christmas Day that William broke the news about them capsizing; TWICE! Saying matter-of-factly "but we're ok and you always said that you would want to know any horrors even if it was afterwards." It is almost impossible to try to imagine the fear and horror that they, and all the teams, must have gone through, particularly in the storm that hit just after the start. One of the rowers of a two man crew which retired, saying that it was just too dangerous and they didn't want to risk their lives any more, was worrying. His description of the sheer size of the waves, the noise of the thunder, and their boat being tossed around with no control whatsoever... I heard Ranulph Fiennes, a well-travelled adventurer, following-on from an interview with one of the rowers, saying that there was no doubt in his mind that the Atlantic Row was probably one of the most dangerous feats one can undertake and to be justifiably proud when you complete it. It also makes me so proud that they have persevered and what they will have achieved at the end of this amazing race; something very special to include on their CV's!
It is so important now to support William and Daniel after this heroic adventure, so please give generously to the charities they are supporting and likewise spread the word amongst your friends and family."