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The sport of Ocean Rowing, which involves crossing an ocean propelled by oarsmen and oarswomen with no other artificial means of power, has increased in popularity in recent years. It is an ‘extreme sport’ and is not for the faint hearted; the main requirements being tenacity and a will to succeed. The Oceans throw many challenges and this sport can certainly be termed as dangerous. Very many more people have climbed Everest than rowed their way across the World’s oceans.  Records are set and then broken by men and women continuously – especially considering the technological advances which are being pioneered by Leven Brown.


The first ever Atlantic Ocean Row was undertaken by two young Norwegians by the names of George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen, they rowed from New York to St Mary’s Scilly Isles in the summer of 1896 in 55 days.

The World Record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, East to West, was set in 2011 by a crew of six aboard the boat ‘Sara G’, with a crossing time of 32 days.

  • 331 boats have successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean
  • 592 people have rowed an ocean.


Canary Islands – Caribbean

The East to West Atlantic route has long been the most popular route thanks to its generally warm and stable weather. The trade winds route (as it is known) also benefits from general prevailing conditions helping ocean rowers go more or less towards their target.

From Canary Islands, Spain to Antigua, West Indices, as the crow flies, is 2931 miles (4727 km) which is 2552 nautical miles

Dates & Timelines

15 January 2015

For the Canary Islands to the Caribbean route (within the tropical southern latitudes), the season runs from: November to April.


Leven Brown (Skipper)
Thato Mabelane
Nikki Brown
Stuart Connacher
Caetano Altafin
Julie Dunne
Don Lennox
James Robins

Leven Brown and ‘Ocean Row Events’

The Ubunye team member, Thato Mabelane, will be joining forces with Leven Brown and 6 other oarsmen and oarswomen.

Leven founded Ocean Row Events in 2005 in preparation for his first solo crossing of the Atlantic. It is a small but very focused company. Ocean Row Events has the specific aims of bringing people into the life changing sport of ocean rowing, raising money for good causes and, with hard work, dedication and preparation, break oceanic records – placing the respective oarsmen and oarswomen in the record books.

The company has successfully raised approximately £1million for good causes via the excellent efforts of their crews over 4 expeditions thus far. They have claimed 7 World records and generated extraordinary amounts of solid brand building prime time/mainstream media for their supporters. They have many repeat sponsors and some great testimonials from title sponsors that may interest you.

The Boat

Leven Brown’s new boat, currently under construction, is being regarded as a quantum leap forward in ocean rowing.

Making a boat light and placing a decent crew on board no longer achieves desired expectations. Almost without exception all of the open class boats available are not technologically designed. They still have roughly the same ‘footprints’ and general layout as they did 20 years ago – they are lighter and have all the latest kit, but those in the motor industry know there is only so much mileage in putting fancy new gear in old designs.

In short, the boat is a Carbon/Kevlar monohull capable of accommodating 8 people, 4 rowing, 4 resting. She is 44ft long and has a beam of 2m. She is lightweight but the design team has concentrated on keeping her well engineered. Her design remit is to be able to cruise at 5 knots. The current Atlantic speed record is averaging around 3.5 knots. The design team has radically changed the hull shaped from the standard ocean rowing boat, reducing massive amounts of drag and increasing surfing ability. They have also improved the nimbleness (turning moment) of the boat by 30% making the rudder and steering system much faster and smoother to react – this means longer faster surfing and the ability to cope with bigger seas.

The crews have separate bunks, rather than the flat bed of most rowing boats, so that they can make the most of what little rest they get; keeping them fresher and stronger for longer.

The boat is fully self-righting, and is much more aggressively self-righting than the current designs of rowing boats. The boat has a series of pumps and valves that allow any one or all of the 8 ballast tanks to be flooded helping with trim and weight and the pumps can also deal with massive water ingression anywhere else in the vessel – making her by far the safest boat out there.

The boat will be named after the main supporter.

Everything about this new boat has been thought through using a wealth of experience and learning from the shortcomings of other boats in all sorts of conditions. This will be the very first true next generation ocean rowing boat and she will achieve some amazing feats.



The Atlantic is a grueling 3000 mile rowing race across the Ocean.  Our goal is to set a new world record for the fastest row across the Atlantic, which is currently 32 days. Furthermore, we harbor an ambition to be the first ocean rowing boat to go sub thirty days – this is the four minute mile of ocean rowing, is highly prized and will be highly publicized. It will create a media storm and will get a special place in the Guinness book of records – very exciting for crew, sponsors and clients to become part of.

The team, upon completion of the Atlantic Row, will have achieved a number of milestones, most notably Thato Mabelane will become the first person of African decent, man or woman, to ever row an ocean.