Hall of Fame

Viking Row Events has created this ‘Hall of Fame’ page in recognition of all our intrepid team members who have rowed across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans with us.  These men gave their utmost of body and mind in order to adhere to the rigorous regime and demands required of ocean rowing.  Every one these rowers are special, very few people have what it takes to be a part of this extreme and endurance sport and we are so proud of them all.

The Indian Ocean 2014

This ocean threw her worst at this expedition, fickle weather patterns whipping up huge seas and winds which swept this rowing boat too far North to hold her course to South Africa and landfall had to be made at Victoria Port, Seychelles. Nevertheless records were achieved by these crew members in spite of having to evacuate a crew member due to injury. 

Leven Brown

All Leven’s leadership skills were called for this time. Horrendous weather & a crew evacuation on to LPG Tanker ‘Nordic River’ were handled on the expedition. The ‘Nordic River’ Captain stated ‘this rescue operation was successful due to good coordination & communication by Capt. Leven Brown’. Leven dealt with all in his own quiet way.



Cameron Bellamy

1st Stroke Cameron is a strong accomplished rower and he was a great support, calm under pressure and dealt with adversity when required.  A real asset to the crew and a gentleman to the core. Great stories and awesome work rate. Please can South Africa send us more like ‘Big Cam’ !!


Jamie Douglas Hamilton

Jamie, a strong rower was a real asset to the crossing & earned the nickname ‘Dougie Both Barrels’ as single handedly he brought the boat round off a broach, a task which normally took three!! He coped with much pain from injury but never complained & wants to sign up for another expedition after he finishes his studies. 


Fiann Paul

2nd stroke on this expedition Fiann is a quiet steady rower with a lot of experience as he has row the Trade Winds Atlantic Route and now has another couple of Guinness Records to add to the two others he achieved when part of the successful Sara G expedition skippered by Matt Craughwell in 2011.


Heather Rees-Gaunt

Heather is a determined and good rower and she is an amazing lady with a passion for the ocean.  She kept everyone’s spirits up with her fantastic banter.  She fitted in really well with our crew and also wants to row again, we’d have her back in a flash!


Tim Spiteri

Out of necessity Tim acquired the skills of helming on this voyage when the autohelm failed. He shared this job with the Skipper. Not quite what he had expected to be doing but nevertheless he became an adept helmsman and can now add this to his ocean rowing CV as well as two Guinness records.



Shane Usher

Shane excelled at altering the rowing set up & riggers on Avalon at Geraldton which was of huge assistance. He unfortunately scalded himself preparing a meal & with his wounds going septic it resulted in him being evacuated on day 30 of the 57 day journey. Very much a team member he came to the Seychelles to join the crew at the end of this expedition.




The 'Trade Winds Expedition' 2013 

This expedition really tested this crew and made these eight men into a real team.  Beset by adverse weather conditions not usually encountered on this route, the new ocean rowing boat ‘Avalon’ suffered two broken dagger boards as well as the auto-helming gear being trashed by a huge wave.  Steering manually meant a man short on each rowing shift. An ocean trial indeed but a very successful ‘Team Building’ expedition.

Leven Brown
Always respect the ocean. This is Leven’s philosophy. He leads with a quiet strength and instils a great team spirit within the men which is paramount when dealing with difficult situations arising during an expedition.  This team nicknamed him the ‘godfather’

James Cowan
Teaching is James’s profession he is also a keen endurance athlete having completed several Marathons.  His intense interest in ‘Avalon’ and ORE’s previous expeditions made it apparent he ‘fitted the bill’. No surprise then, he is hooked on ocean rowing, it has become a passion to him.  He intends to row again very soon!

Peter Fleck
The youngest of our ocean heroes, Peter is well used to extreme sport and conditions having spent 2yrs racing sled-dogs in Alaska with a finish in the 2010 Yukon Quest.  A strong, fit young man, his disposition was well suited to the demands of this particular ocean crossing with all the challenges it threw.

Calum McNicol
Calum was a huge asset to this expedition. An RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Instructor his helming skills were put to full use. A huge wave wrecked the steering gear and he and Leven shared the manual steering duties.  Two days back on dry land a clean –shaven Calum decided to propose to his fabulous partner Victoria, a great couple.

Livar Nysted
A ‘CORE CREW’ member, this Faroese man has rowed in all conditions and dealing with daunting incidents still smiles – ref. 2010 knocked overboard to the end of his safety line he was encouraged i.e.’ swim Livar, come on swimLivar’ on reaching the boat, he shouted at the anxious crew - ‘I’m NOT a ***king dog you lot’!

Jan Oner
A keen athlete, Jan is now an accomplished ocean rower, his wish prior to the row was ‘to do something that would push him harder than he had ever imagined’.  As this expedition threw many testing and extreme situations, Jan’s wish was certainly granted!  On reaching dry land Jan proposed to his lovely girlfriend and was accepted! 

Benno Rawlinson
First Stroke on this expedition, Benno was a great team member.  Used to extreme conditions, Benno had already tackled marathons, endurance cycling and running challenges.  With this experience and ‘cycling pants’ he hoped to avoid to saddle sores, nevertheless, like the other men, his nether regions were to suffer just as much!

 

 

Tim Spiteri
Australian crew member Tim was 2nd stroke.  His experience of river and surf boat rowing was put to good use but he found ocean rowing was a different ‘kettle of fish’ but soon adapted.  An old injury caused him a lot of pain but in spite of this he never missed a shift such is the strong character of this man.

 


The 'North Atlantic Challenge' 2010

This was a huge challenge, the North Atlantic route is extremely inhospitable with storms, fog, adverse currents & capsizes etc all to contend with but the crew, Leven, Ray, Don & Livar set a new speed record for this ocean crossing of 43 days, 21 hrs, 26 mins & 48 secs breaking the 114 year old record of 55 days set by the intrepid Norwegians in 1896.  Bette Horton, George Harbo’s granddaughter endorsed our crew's great achievement with her blessing.  Expedition Details ›

Leven Brown (Skipper)
Leven, (solo) Columbus Run 2005/6, La Mondiale ‘Blue Riband’ 2007/8, 2009 & North Atlantic Challenge record 2010. Leven, Ray and Don became the first men in history ever to hold the speed records for North & South (trade winds) Atlantic simultaneously.  Leven has 3 expeditions scheduled for 2013. 

Leven Brown

Ray Carroll
1st stroke, La Mondiale ‘Blue Riband’ 07/08 & North Atlantic Challenge 2010.  Ray, Leven & Don were the first men in history to hold the speed records for North & South (trade winds) Atlantic simultaneously. Ray’s will to win is legendary & as ‘CORE’ crew, he joins Leven to row ‘Round Britain’ race & North West Passage. Ray's charities 1 & 2

Don Lennox
Don rowed La Mondiale ‘Blue Riband’ 2007/08, 2009 & North Atlantic Challenge 2010. Don, Leven & Ray became the first men in history ever to hold the speed records for North & South (trade winds) Atlantic simultaneously. Don, ‘CORE’ crew joins Leven in the ‘Round Britain’ race 2013 & North West Passage & possibly other expeditions!

Livar Nysted
Livar rowed  La Mondiale 'Trade Winds' expedition 2009 & North Atlantic Challenge record 2010.  As part of the ‘CORE’ crew Livar will join Leven in ‘Trade Winds’ 2013, the ‘Round Britain’ race 2013 & North West Passage 2014.  A busy time for him but as with all the ’CORE’ crew he is fit, strong and up for it!


'Trade Winds' Row 2009

In January 2009 a talented crew assembled in Puerta Mogan for La Mondiale’s challenge.  There was keen anticipation that this was a chance to row the ‘Trade Winds’ route to Barbados in under 30 days.  The team adapted to the rigorous regime of 2hrs on - 2hrs off.  1000 miles out & well on course to smash the record, disaster struck, the boat’s rudder was sheared off by a submerged object, probably a metal container (about 10,000 of these are thought to be floating around the oceans).  The row was aborted and a dramatic assent up rope ladders ensued on to the bulk carrier ship ‘Island Ranger'. Expedition Details ›

Leven Brown (Skipper)
By 2009 Leven held 4 world records & a number of firsts in Ocean Rowing. He had over 10,000 sea miles of rowing experience then & spent more than 400 days at sea in rowing boats in various expeditions and sea trials.

Rob Byrne
By 2009 Rob had rowed for 10 years.  A Bray Rowing Club member he was part of the winning crew in All Ireland Skiff race in 2007 and 2008 & category winners of ‘Ocean to City’ long distance race in Cork for 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Ryan Cocoran
Played All Ireland League (AIL) Rugby for Greystones RFC Winner All Ireland Skiff Race, Wicklow Regatta, 2007, 2008 Winner IIRC (30-39 Age Category) 2007.

Matt Craughwell
After the 2009 row, Matt purchased ‘Sara Gee’ & had a successful crossing in 2010 (Pete Williams joined him).  2011 - Matt's team (Rob Byrne crewed) broke the ‘Trade Winds’ record held by ‘La Mondiale’.  2012 - a rogue wave swamped ‘Sara Gee’ sadly ending this expedition.  Yaacov Mutnikas was crew this time.

George Kitovitz
By 2009 he represented GB at U16 & U18 level. In the US, he was Stroke for Harvard Varsity 8 for 3 seasons & he has had notable wins at Henley Royal Regatta setting a course record of 5.27 for 2km at the Eastern Sprints. He has worked for a management consultancy firm for a few years based abroad.

Don Lennox
By 2009 Don held three world records and had rowed over 3000 sea miles on 'La Mondiale'. He was the ‘on board ‘physio and medic as well as being a great motivator. Don is one of the best all-rounders in Ocean Rowing.

Danny Longman
Since rowing with the ORE La Mondiale team Danny completed his MPhil research, he taught for 2 years & is now studying for a PhD at Cambridge. He rowed in the 2012 Pairs Boat Race v Oxford & is in training for Henley Regatta & the British Championships this summer.  He plans is to cycle the length of the Americas 2014-2015.                                             

Breff Morgan
Breff spent several years rowing, firstly at Cork where he won a rowing championship & raced with the junior team. At Harvard he excelled in rowing regularly & was successful on the collegiate circuit which brought many successes including a gold, silver & 4 annual victories head-to-head against Yale.

Ian McKeever
Ian, an adventurer & explorer was sadly killed by a lightning strike on Kilimanjaro in 2013. He held the fastest completion of the Seven Summits of the world in a time of 155 days.  Ian summated Snowy Mountain, Australia became the 1st person at the time to hold this record & the records for the seven summits challenge together.    

Leven Brown

James Mouland
Competed in the 2-way English Channel relay Sept 2007, his team was the only successful 2-way relay team in 2007 completing both legs in 25h 59m despite injury after literally "landing" on France.  He completed ultra-marathons including the 55 mile Thames Meander in preparation for the Marathon des Sables Mar/Apr 2008.

Yaacov Mutnikas
For several years Yaacov has sailed on various vessels & has had commercial deep sea diving experience off the coast of California & South West Africa. Yaacov rowed in his youth and in 2009 was a member of Eton Excelsior Rowing Club in Windsor, Berkshire. Yaacov rowed with Matt Craughwell's 'Sara Gee' team in 2012. 

Livar Nysted
Livar's first ocean row was from the Faroe Islands to the Shetland Islands. His next ocean row, the 2009 Trade Winds Expedition was not to be the experience he had dreamed of but in 2010, Livar rowed with the successful ORE four man crew in 2010 North Atlantic Challenge which beat a 114 year old record which had been held since 1896.

Pete Williams
Aged 15, Pete won numerous rowing titles in Ireland. He represented Ireland rowing at u-18 level & at that time was the only person ever to run round Lough Corrib (75 miles) in 2005. In 2010, Pete joined Matt Craughwell’s ‘Sara Gee’s team & completed a ‘Trade Winds’ Atlantic Crossing. Pete is now an officer in  the Irish Army based in Collins Barracks in Cork.

Gareth Wilson
A good sportsman, Gareth's achievements include a Completed Marathon des Sables, an English Channel swim & an ascent of Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (Oct 2008)


Blue Riband 'Trade Winds' Record Row 2007/08

This was an exciting race between La Mondiale & ‘Orca’ from Puerta de Mogan, Gran Canaria to Barbados.  A few days out when all was going well, a storm broke and despite deploying the sea anchor, the boat was blown back east over 40 miles and losing four days rowing.  Depressing tho’ this was, the team rallied & they rowed into the ‘Record’ books beating the 16 year old record held by La Mondiale and her French crew by 2 days.  The record was to be broken again in 2011 by (a 2009 La Mondiale crew-member) Matt Craughwell and his crew. . Expedition Details ›

Julian Barnwell

Julian Barnwell
Julian owns a printing company in Norwich established 1840.  He water-skis, scuba dives and has a great knowledge of the seas, he travelled nonstop around the UK waters in a 10m RIB in 6 days. The  ‘Trade Winds’ expedition was a great opportunity to raise money for MS the charity, Julian is Chairman of the Norwich Branch.

Leven Brown

Leven Brown (Skipper)
The lure of the sea is irresistible, 'La Mondiale' came Leven’s way he grabbed the opportunity! After renovation she was seaworthy & ready for her next challenge.  With Leven's quiet strength & an excellent crew, the coveted ‘Blue Riband’ trophy was won & Ray & Don were to become part of ORE’s ‘core’ crew.

Ray Carroll

Ray Carroll
Competing for Eire, Ray rowed from an early age. Marine engineering was his chosen career & served in the merchant navy. He joined Irish Ferries in 2005 as an engineering surveyor & now is Ship Manager with the Company. As 1st stroke with ORE team, Ray's drive & will to win contributed hugely to the outcome of the Expedition.

Peter Donaldson

Peter Donaldson
an experienced rower, Pete is calm & steady man which was a great influence in keeping his crew shift happy and rowing hard.  His achievements have been numerous but when asked, he always understates them in his own quiet way. A real team man he was a most welcome member of the La Mondiale 'Blue Riband' squad.

Oli Dudley

Oli Dudley
A Property Developer Oli looked to expand his horizons. Oli had never rowed but he had sailed & a training weekend was the first time he had ever used oars. Soon, with tutoring from experienced crew he became an ocean rower and caught the ‘adventure bug’. This has led on to many other things!

Liam Hughes

Liam Hughes
A Consultant Cardiologist, Liam was ‘shanghaid’ in to this ocean row by the Norfolk boys, namely Julian, Mike and Tiny Little ( the latter rowed the ocean solo). Liam’s medical expertise was appreciated by the crew who consulted him on everything from salt sores to sunburn!  Liam was co-founder ‘Balloons 4 Hearts’ charity.

Stuart Kershaw

Stuart Kershaw
Cameraman/crew for La Mondiale, Stu shot & edited ‘Oceans 14’ which won adventure film awards & since been televised in several countries. 'In the Dark's' comprehensive, in-house production facilities allow him to work independently or as part of a team. He travels around the globe to film adventures. 

Rob Loder Symonds

Rob Loder Symonds
In 2004 became director of Canturian Cost Consultancy Ltd, Edinburgh specialising in overhead procurement. Rob was brought up in Canterbury, went to University in Paris, worked in London for ten years.  Rowing & sport are part of his life & he was a keen achieving member of the ‘Blue Riband’ team.

Don Lennox

Don Lennox
A sport therapist who runs Ultra-Marathons. An ocean row would be a great life experience & Don was determined to make the selection. Little did he know this the start of something else! Reliable, keen & strong both in mind & body, Don joined a 2nd expedition 2008/09 & North Atlantic Challenge in 2010.

PJ Luard

PJ Luard
PJ, a former British army officer with the Devonshire & Dorset Regiment for 5 years. He owns WPJ Heating but he remains a sportsman at heart & completed the Marathon des Sables (Sahara) and The Gobi March & John O’Groats to Lands End to raise money for charity.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor
2 IC on the ‘Blue Riband’ expedition, Charlie has sailed all his life & skippered many British Army sailing expeditions on long passages all over the world. He has teambuilding & leadership experience having spent a year in command of soldiers on operations in Iraq & maintains physical fitness with a robust attitude to hardship.

Mike Tooth

Mike Tooth
Mike runs his own business Breckland Insurance Services.  He loves sport especially water based activities! He trained hard for the successful ‘Blue Riband’ Trade Winds expedition & celebrated a birthday on board ‘La Mondiale’.  He looks forward to doing another Ocean row & frequently meets up with some of his fellow rowers!

Reinhardt Von Hof

Reinhardt Von Hof
Reinhardt runs his own successful roofing business in Edinburgh 'Von Hof Roofing Ltd'. Rowing comes high up on the list of his many interests and went on the 2007/08 expedition with the blessing of his father who sadly passed away during the time of the expedition. A difficult time but his family was proud that he was a part of the record breaking team.

Jamie Walker
Jamie is now a director of x-plore Ltd and continues to remain fit and ‘hands on’ in the adventure world.  The company  runs unique  tailor-made expeditions to the world’s most spectacular, remote and mind-blazing places.


The 'Columbus Run' Solo Unsupported Atlantic Row 2005/06

Leven Brown was the first man to row out of the Gulf of Cadiz and to row from mainland Spain to Trinidad and Tobago. Expedition Details ›

Leven Brown (Skipper)
No text book could ever teach the knowledge & respect for the ocean which Leven gained from his solo & unsupported ocean row.  There is absolutely no substitute for a 'hands on' experience of the many challenges faced in this extreme sport.



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