March 4, 2021
Nicola Douglas

Unfinished business with the Atlantic Ocean

Ted Jackson - rowing the Atlantic in 2021:

I'm Ted Jackson. 48 from Climping on the South Coast of England. I’m married to Sophie (I'm punching way out of my league) and have 4 kids...Oscar 26, Alabama 23, Ludo 19, and Rafferty 15. We started young!! I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who decided to turn his life around at 25.I'm not what most people would describe as athletic and normally reside the wrong side of 15 and a half stone. Until recently I worked in a boarding school for the last 22 years. Now I am a life coach working with individuals and corporations helping them identify and clear themselves of limiting beliefs and become greater than they ever imagined!

What inspired you to undertake this expedition?

I saw an advert on Facebook...rower required for adventure... we leave in a month. That looked perfect for me. An opportunity to jump straight into something and challenge me during these dull Covid months.

Have you ever undertaken any previous endurance challenges?

I've done a number of crazy challenges... I've run marathons at the North Pole. I've cycled the Tour de France. I've run 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days and I've been rescued by helicopter from a sinking rowing boat on the Atlantic.

Did you have any prior rowing experience?

My previous time on the Atlantic ended in disaster just 3 days in. The boat was taking on water fast and we were on the outer limits of helicopter rescue range. So my experience is vast and limited at the same time.

How have you found the journey so far as part of the Roxy crew?

It's all been a whirlwind... as I said before I joined very late and was certainly not ready physically so I jumped on the rowing machine and have been doing whatever exercise I can in the last few weeks. We also meet up on zoom and row as a crew. I've only met the others online apart from Louise who coincidentally turned out to be a neighbour of mine!! They are an eclectic bunch, very supportive and most important it looks like they have a sense of humour. To my mind that's vital.

How have you trained physically and mentally for this challenge?

Physically it's simply getting stronger and able to withstand pain. Nothing about rowing in the ocean is like any specific training that can be done on an erg. For me it's about learning to withstand discomfort, whether that be extreme cold.... I plunge in open water every day and it's been pretty chilly recently, or extreme heat.... erg in front of the fire in a heated room... these are the things I will draw on when the going gets tough out there. So most of my physical training involves mental training as well wherever possible. If it's uncomfortable, do it.

What are you looking forward to the most about the expedition?

First... getting to the start line.... then getting to the finish and everything in between. I have unfinished business with the Atlantic Ocean!!

What are you least looking forward to?

Probably looking someone in the eye as I poo in a bucket in front of them. Seasickness is not pleasant either. Blisters on my bum.

Are you raising money for any charity/good causes by undertaking this expedition?

I've managed to raise about £30,000 so far for the William Wates Memorial Trust. An awesome charity helping seriously underprivileged kids in the UK.