July 19, 2021
Nicola Douglas

#BoatOfHope in aid of mental health

One man; one boat; 3,000 miles of ocean

Determined to make a difference, 63 year old Liverpudlian and adventurer Bernie Hollywood OBE is taking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 2022 in support of mental health charity Samaritans and British Rowing Charitable Foundation, LOVE Rowing.

Bernie Hollywood OBE

Many aspects of young people's lives have been impacted by the pandemic. Research has revealed that, in the second UK national lockdown, many young people experienced increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Bernie's endeavour will be a beacon of hope to any young people who have faced mental health difficulties. His journey across the Atlantic in a Rannoch Adventure R10 solo rowing boat will act as a powerful metaphor for life’s highs and lows, ups and downs.

As those who have undertaken this challenge will know, the gruelling row will push Bernie to extremes physically and mentally. But in his quest to help raise over £1 million for both of his chosen charities, it’s a trial he is willing to face.

The R10 Ocean Rowing Boat

The R10 is our brand new boat being launched in late 2021 and is the perfect boat for anyone undertaking a solo Atlantic crossing. The Boat of Hope will be one of the very first production R10s racing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 2022. It's a neat, simple and safe boat that completes the Rannoch Adventure ocean rowing boat portfolio.

The R10 has real pedigree. In 2009, Rannoch Adventure’s founder, Charlie Pitcher, won the Woodvale Challenge (now the TWAC) by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in just 52 days in his custom built solo boat called JJ, winning the race overall and setting new records, still unbeaten today. As a master sailor and builder, Charlie was encouraged to use a new concept in ocean rowing by the organiser. He was unsure before the event as to whether it would be successful but his experience and expertise paid off and he finished the race an estimated 480 miles ahead of his nearest rival.

Charlie in his first custom R10, JJ

His vision, having seen the existing boats that were rowing oceans, was incited by his knowledge of the sea. He realised that major changes could be made and he enlisted designer Phil Morrison. JJ made an impact into the ocean rowing world which changed everything we see today and her race record is still unbeaten.

In 2011, Rannoch produced a fine no expense spared flyer, this time with speed records in mind. This prototype was called the R10 and named Soma of Essex. Charlie smashed the record set by his old boat JJ, and in doing so, became the fastest solo rower across the Atlantic Ocean.

Charlie and his second custom R10, Soma of Essex

10 years after Soma broke the world record, Rannoch Adventure is now producing a production version of the original R10, purpose designed for solo ocean rowers. This is a beautifully thought out design with all-round capabilities for rowers at any level.  

The 2021 new R10 production boat

So how is the production boat even better than the original prototype?

1. The R10 now has a slighter wider transom to assist stability and surfing.

2. The internal design has been changed to enable spare oars to be stored on deck, not within the boat. This has also led to better self-righting properties than the original Soma design.

3. A special life raft locker has been built into the central area of the row deck underneath the rower’s feet. The locker can be “open” to enable the life raft to be quickly deployed.

4. The simplicity of the design and features lends itself to having less to do at sea and more time to row!

For more details of the R10, please click HERE.

Boat of Hope Mural

The Boat of Hope is using art to shine a spotlight on mental health. The campaign’s main supporter, ParentPay is launching a national art competition for all secondary schools in the UK. Pupils are invited to create and submit artwork illustrating the emotions they are feeling, their interpretation of what ‘hope’ looks like, or depicting their journey through mental health challenges.

Looking for the most inspiring and thoughtful creations, the judging panel will include renowned artist and illustrator Justin Eagleton, who will incorporate the 6 winning entries into a stunning mural he is currently creating. The mural, with the winning entries, will adorn Bernie’s ‘Boat of Hope’, which is due to be unveiled this autumn in London. The artist’s impression of the design is unique - we can’t wait to see what this very special R10 Boat of Hope will look like in all her glory!

Artist’s impression of the Boat of Hope with her unique wrap design

Story book and animation

The Boat of Hope will also be featuring in a young children’s story book written and developed by Natalie Reeves Billing – watch this space for more details!


For more information on the Boat of Hopecampaign, please go to


Or follow on social media:

Twitter: @berniehollywood and @BoatofHope

Instagram: @theboatofhope

Facebook: @BoatofHope

TikTok: @BoatofHope