Mike’s North Sea Row

March 25, 2015 : News


It could have been a soft top sports car, a Harley Davidson motorbike, a mistress, a tattoo or worse still a pony tail and beard. Midlife crises manifest themselves in many and varied ways.

For Maximillion Lead Facilitator Mike Tierney, his has come in the shape of a 7.4 meter trans-Atlantic ocean rowing boat called ‘Bonnie Lass’, and in August this year Mike and James Moloney plan on rowing her across the North Sea from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Denmark. The boat was built in 2007 and went on to successfully cross the Atlantic that year, and then went on to break the around Britain world record in 2010. Mike tells the story from here:

“It’s not really a midlife crisis; it’s a serious attempt to raise £20000.00 for four very deserving charities. In 2012 I lost my sister to breast cancer. It was truly devastating to see such a fit and well women lose her life to an illness that affects so many of us directly and indirectly. My rowing partner James also recently lost his father Jimmy to cancer too, so our choice of charities was easy. We wish to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, where the money goes to research into early detection and prevention of cancer. We also wish to support Macmillan and Marie Curie who gave our loved ones and family such excellent support during a very difficult time. Finally, as former Army officers we selected the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA), who provide support to all servicemen and their families in times of need.

If you choose to make a donation using our online page,  you can do so knowing that every penny of your donation will go directly to our selected charities, as the expenses of the event are being met by me personally. We have a growing bunch of kind sponsors who are supporting us with some of our expedition costs, which means that more money will go to our charities. Maximillion kindly provided a home for ‘Bonnie Lass’ rent free for a year, Port Edgar Marina Ltd, now allow us to keep the boat there and launch and recover for free, Royal Forth Yacht Club¸ provide a safety boat and fuel to cover our training rows, Stylo Sports provide gel rowing seat covers and exciting new sports hydration product Coco5 will slake our thirst! We still need help with expedition food and transporting the boat back from Denmark please!

Some of you reading this may know that I am a member of Maximillion Learning & Development’s team of Facilitators. I also used to be the Operations Director at Maximillion, and I am drawing on many of the skills that were required in that role to ensure that all details are covered in planning this serious undertaking. Safety is our absolute number one concern and we are delighted that another former member of the Maximillon team, Andrew Fulton is going to shadow our crossing in his beautiful sailing boat Eider. We plan on being completely self sufficient and totally unsupported but it is wonderful to know that should we run into insurmountable difficulties that we can cope without burdening emergency services. This gives huge peace of mind for our familes too.

So that’s it! On August the 1st we plan to leave from under the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle to make the first crossing of the North Sea in a pairs ocean rowing boat. Please follow our build up by following our Facebook page.

Thanks for reading and please donate!”

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