Team Elijah’s Star’s attempt to row the Atlantic Ocean in aid of UK children’s charity Action Medical Research has attracted corporate sponsorship from maritime law firm CJC.
In December 2021, Team Elijah’s Star will take on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – a 3,000-mile rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean – in support of Action Medical Research’s and their work to support babies born too soon. Inspired by the story of a prematurely born but much-loved baby boy named Elijah Halse, the team will attempt to complete the gruelling row between the Canary Islands and English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda in 37 days – the same number of days Elijah survived before passing away of necrotising enterocolitis.
Action Medical Research aims to shine a light on premature birth and the devastating impact it can have on new-borns and their families, funding research that could save the lives of babies like Elijah in the future. The four-man Elijah’s Star crew – comprising Dean Frost, Philip Bigland, Mac McCarthy and Kevin Watkins – are seeking to raise £200,000, with CJC contributing as a corporate sponsor.
Action Medical Research has funded medical breakthroughs which have helped saved the lives of countless children and babies, including developments in the use of ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, supporting cooling therapy for babies starved of oxygen at birth helping to reduce the chance of brain damage and cerebral palsy and thorough testing of the Rubella vaccine.
“CJC is both excited and honoured to be sponsoring the crew of Elijah’s Star and, importantly, their wonderful cause,” says CJC partner, Maria Borg-Barthet. “Our clients’ vessels cross the Atlantic under engine power on a constant basis, which means we fully appreciate the scale of this challenge. We hope that the crew’s courage and efforts will translate into significant funding for research into medical breakthroughs to help little ones like Elijah and their families.”
All four members of Team Elijah are currently balancing their day jobs and fund-raising efforts with an intense training regimen. At the time of writing, the crew have rowed, run and cycled a combined total of almost 15,500 kilometres – and lifted a combined total of nearly 1,650,000 kilograms – to prepare their bodies and minds for what promises to be an exceptionally demanding endeavour.
In addition to the physical and mental effects of sleep deprivation, the team will face salt sores, blisters and a loss of appetite that will make consuming the required 6,000 calories per day feel tortuous. Despite this huge energy intake – achieved through a wide range of foodstuffs to prevent palate fatigue – the rowers can expect to drop around 13 kilograms of body mass over the course of their journey.
While the men shed the pounds, the boat is likely to gain some. Perfectly optimised for speed and safety, the 28-foot-long, five-foot-wide Rannoch 45 will protect the crew in extreme weather and rough seas. However, it will also provide the ideal surface to which algae and other organisms can attach themselves. As well as increasing the overall weight of the vessel, this creates a miniature ecosystem; the organisms attract small fish, which in turn attract bigger fish, until eventually sharks begin to take an interest. Keeping the hull clear of marine life is one more arduous task for Team Elijah’s Star to contend with.
Yet for all their toil, the crew will experience moments of extraordinary beauty. Previous participants in the Atlantic Challenge have witnessed whales and dolphins swimming alongside their vessels, while the uninterrupted horizon and pollution-free skies make for spectacular sunrises, sunsets and starry nights. Crucially, if the research funded by the team’s exploits can help to save the lives of premature babies, then the discomfort, exhaustion and lack of sleep will be a small price to pay.
CJC is proud to support Action Medical Research and their valuable work to help babies born too soon, and everyone at the company wishes Team Elijah’s Star the best of luck in their forthcoming challenge.
About Campbell Johnston Clark:
Campbell Johnston Clark (CJC) is a medium-sized international law firm founded in September 2010 specialising in shipping and international trade. CJC has undergone sizeable expansion in both numbers of solicitors and geographical spread since its opening. We have offices in London, Newcastle, Singapore and Miami with almost 60 staff worldwide. Throughout the past nine years, we have firmly established our presence in the London and overseas shipping markets with clients and fellow practitioners alike.
We advise on all aspects of the shipping sector, from ship finance to dry shipping and comprehensive casualty handling, and everything that happens in between.
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