This post was originally produced for Forbes.
When I first heard the story of the Tempest Two, the two Brits who crossed the Atlantic in a row boat, I imagined that they were competitive athletes who had spent years training for the adventure. Instead, they describe themselves as “two ordinary blokes” who founded a company for great adventure and to raise money for causes they care about.
The founders of The Tempest Two say their motivation for the trip was manifold, but it certainly included social objectives like raising money for the Make-a-Wish foundation and to fund brain tumor research.
Tom Caulfield, one of the two–I’m not sure whether to say “rowers” or “blokes” here–explains his passion for Make-A-Wish, “I am trying to give young, terminally ill children the chance to touch and feel their dreams, like I have been lucky enough to do. Make-A-Wish Foundation makes those dreams come true, so raising money for them is something I care deeply about.”
James Whittle, the other one, says, “The problem is brain tumours. My mum suffered from a severe brain tumour in 2012 and has made a great recovery. I want to raise support to help fund the research further to benefit others.”
Caulfield explains the accomplishment. “James and I have completed a transatlantic row, 3000 miles across The Atlantic, totally unsupported. Neither of us had ever held an oar or sailed a boat, so we hope we have proved that ordinary people can achieve incredible things.”
Beyond raising money for charity, Caulfield has another mission. “Our goal is to inspire people to set goals, back themselves and achieve amazing feats, whilst raising money for good causes along the way.”
Whittle adds, “Having currently raised £12,500 between Make-A-Wish and brain tumour research, we aim to raise more money along the way through continuing to do extraordinary adventures.”
He continues, “Our success will not only raise funds, but will also raise awareness of these two fantastic charities and the work they undertake, hopefully encouraging others to raise funds and donate to these causes.”
Whittle also echoes Caulfield, noting, “We also aim to inspire people to get off the sofa and get exercising, we proved that two ordinary blokes could achieve something extraordinary and hope it inspires others to take on challenges themselves.”
On Thursday, March 10, 2016 at noon Eastern, Caulfield and Whittle will join me for a live conversation about their remarkable journey and the causes they support. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about The Tempest Two:
The Tempest Two is made up of James Whittle and Tom Caulfield, two normal friends who have broken the mould of the 9-5 to seek adventure around the world, raising money for charity as they go. Two friends that decided to row 3,000 miles, unsupported, across the Atlantic Ocean in aid of Brain Tumor Research and Make a Wish foundation.
Tom Caulfield is a 26 year old marketing professional by day, and aspiring adventurer by night. In July 2014, Caulfield decided to break the mould of the 9-5 and asked close-friend James Whittle to join him on what is known as the toughest challenge on Earth. Since then, he has become a trans-Atlantic rower, crossing the worlds wildest Ocean in 54 days, totally unsupported. Having tasted adventure, he now has his sights firmly set on another challenge in the near future.
James was born in Milton Keynes in England on 23rd May 1990. Born and raised in the rural town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, he attended school until the age of 18 and then attended the University of Northampton to study Sports Marketing and graduated in 2012. Alongside the studying James snowboarded around the wold, on a semi-professional basis in Austria, Switzerland, USA and Canada. Having previously been a competitive gymnast to GB national level at a younger age.
James graduated university, and his work as a student brand manager for Red Bull, and went on to work for the coconut water company Vita Coco, heading up the events and field marketing team out of London, England. Tom approached James with the far out question of rowing across the Atlantic in July 2014, neither having any previous rowing experience, and James immediately agreed. It was here that The Tempest Two was formed, as a pair of friends who would take on the Atlantic on a 3000 mile voyage, completely unsupported. Raising funds for Brain Tumour Research and Make a Wish Foundation along the way. With the voyage complete, the pair look forward to the next trip in what they hope will be a long list of adventures.