Northrop & Johnson Managing Director Embarks on 650km Rowing Expedition Across the North Sea

Posted July 2, 2024 in Company by Ashleigh King

At 8 am on Monday, 15th July, Patrick Coote, Managing Director of Northrop & Johnson Europe, will be heading out from Inverness Marina on the East coast of Scotland in an attempt to row, unsupported, across the North Sea to Stavanger in Norway.

Wind, weather, tides and exhaustion will play a big part in the duration of the crossing, but overall the feat is expected to take approximately one week. The team of 12 adventurers will be rowing for 24 hours a day in 3-hour shifts, all day, all night and in all weathers.

Coote will be accompanied onboard by some highly experienced ocean rowers with Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean experience. The North Sea however presents its own unique challenges, with offshore oil and gas platforms to navigate through as well as infamously unpredictable weather conditions.

The 24ft ocean rowing boat has been designed to self-right if it capsizes and to withstand the worst weather that the open sea can throw at them. The boat has a water-tight cabin and solar panels to power the onboard navigation system as well as a water-maker to convert sea water into drinking water.

You may think that nobody since the Vikings would be crazy enough to row across these often treacherous waters, but you’d be wrong. In modern times, there have been three successful attempts to cross the North Sea by rowing boat. Ragnar Thorseth, a Norwegian adventurer, crossed alone during the summer of 1969; Olav Lie Gundersen and Tommy Skeide repeated the feat in 2005, and most recently, Henrik Yksnøy and Erik Schouw-Hansen in June 2012.

Ultimately, it’s all for a good cause as Coote will be raising funds for the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).

Coote comments, “The health of our oceans is critical for the health of our planet and the WWF has numerous projects to protect marine wildlife. I want to play a small part by supporting them and increasing the awareness of their efforts”.

Coote, supported by N&J, has raised over 40,000 Euros for good causes in the past three years through physical challenges that include the first-ever circumnavigation of Scotland by rowing boat in 2022 and a race to row from Barcelona to Ibiza in 2023.

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