Norfolk friends Luca Feser, Cutu Serruys and Matt Siely will embark on the challenge of a lifetime when they row for 2800 miles across the Pacific for The Ocean Cleanup charity, in June. Here, Luca talks of the challenges of training when it’s -3 degrees!
Sub-zero temperatures and frozen waters have not been enough to stop a trio of best friends as their gruelling rowing challenge becomes closer to a reality. Friends Luca Feser, from Norwich, Cutu Serruys, from Wymondham and Matt Siely, from Bournemouth (but originally Norfolk), will embark on the challenge of a lifetime when they row for 2,800 miles across the Pacific Ocean, from California to Hawaii.
The 28-year-olds are doing the challenge to raise donations for The Ocean Cleanup charity and raise awareness to the devastating impact ocean plastic pollution has on our environment.
Throughout the journey, they will be documenting all the rubbish they come across to help with society’s understanding of the damage plastic is doing to the environment.
With the trip, renowned as one of the most gruelling challenges in the world, now less than six months away the Norfolk trio have had to step up training. And this meant carrying on with their regular rowing trips through Christmas, new year and even during the recent cold snap.
Luca says: ‘It’s been a gruelling few months, but we’re happy with where we are all at fitness wise and looking forward to warmer weather to train in!
‘The winter weather has certainly brought challenges. We had planned a three-day row, but we couldn’t launch because the winds where so strong.
‘Instead, we wanted to do 24 hours on Oulton Broads, but then at midnight, temperatures hit -3 degrees and the lake started freezing over while we are out on the boat, so we had to stop and moor up.
‘Ocean rowing is a sport where you always have to be ready for the unexpected. Much of the team’s training happens on water, whether that’s near their home base on the Norfolk Broads or out at sea on the east coast of the UK.
‘This means, every weekend, the team tries to get out onto the water and training together as a team. During the week, we balance our full-time jobs and training. Most of this training is done in the gym, especially in the winter. It’s hard work but we’re staying motivated and positive!’
The challenge will start from the historic harbour of Monterey, following the path of many adventurers and explorers of yesteryear, and row 2,800 miles to the finish line in Nawiliwili Bay on the stunning island of Kauai.
Once they launch, they will row non-stop for around 45 days, each putting in four hours on the oars and two hours off. The trio, rowing under the team’s name HODL, will sleep in cramped quarters, cross two time zones, consume 850,000 calories, and experience all the weather and waves the Pacific throws at them.
To donate, visit Fundraiser by Luca Feser : Pacific Ocean Row for Ocean Plastic Pollution (gofundme.com). £80, for example, could pay for a RYA First Aid Course (for 1 crew member). Visit hodl-team.com, Instagram, Facebook and Luca Feser’s LinkedIn page for weekly video reviews of how the crew’s training is going.
Featured image: (left to right) Luca Feser, Cutu Serruys and Matt Siely (picture credit – Adam Rhodes)