February 3, 2021
Rupert Fenby, pictured on the left

Student dreams of rowing with his brothers

When I emailed Rannoch Adventure applying for a position on the maiden voyage of their new 12 person boat, I never really let myself believe that I would be so lucky to be accepted. It was mid lockdown 1.0 and I had just been relieved of my final few months of sixth form, my exams had been cancelled, who knew what was going to happen with my conditional university place as a result of the exam cancellation and it just felt like everything was being stopped, cancelled and postponed.

I had been dreaming about rowing the Atlantic in the future, with my 3 brothers, since I read about Oliver Crane becoming the youngest person to row the ocean solo. So, when I saw the Roxy adventure advertised, I figured, why wait, I may as well apply because there was nothing to lose.

Rupert testing out the Roxy berths with Sian, his co-rower

After a few zoom calls with Nicola and Charlie I got an email offering me a position, I had to reread the email countless times as I just couldn’t believe it. I then went thundering downstairs to tell my unsuspecting family. Although when I nearly crashed through the bannister and leapt the bottom few steps, the noise probably gave them the heads up that good news was coming.  

I immediately deferred my entry to Exeter University so that I could take a year out to prepare for the expedition and get a job to pay for it. I have so far spent over 230 hours training on the erg and managed to secure 4 sponsorship companies. I have also lost count of the number of sandwiches and scrambled eggs that I’ve made in my chef’s job at Dyls Café in the centre of York. If you don’t know Dyls Café, all you need to know is that they are right next to the River Ouse and seem to be submerged by floodwater several times a year. At least I can row in and out of the kitchen window to work each day!

Rupert (in red dungarees) keeping a watch over his fellow Roxy crew from the back cabin

The crew are a collection of the nicest people I have ever met and the team at Rannoch are absolutely relentless in finding solutions during an incredibly fluctuant time and have done an absolutely superb job building Roxy. I cannot wait to see them all again in Tenerife and am so excited for everything to come.