The Ocean Row Team
Education, sport, adventure, and the protection of others have been the driving forces throughout Simon’s life. Whether it was summiting big peaks in the Alps and Rockies or competing in the 09 – 10 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, it was in these challenging environments that he felt the most fulfilled. These driving forces and his love of extreme challenges became the nucleus for his concept for Team Status Code 14.
Like most of those serving in the Emergency Services, Simon has been exposed to multiple traumatic incidents during his career as a Police Officer, sustaining both mental and physical trauma, including being stabbed on duty.
Although seemingly unaffected by this, he has seen first-hand the profound effect these incidents have had on his friends and colleagues. On a number of occasions, he has been on the end of the telephone feeling utterly helpless with friends literally on the precipice of despair suffering from PTSD.
That same feeling of helplessness, however, also caused him to seek medical advice after he noticed a lump on one of his testicles, whilst showering after a training session. Like most men, he ‘buried his head in the sand,’ ignored it, and did nothing about it. This built into fear and anxiety. Prompted by his wife, he eventually visited his GP and it was quickly established that there was no need for concern. But why leave it to luck why take a chance, why feel helpless?
Through Statuscode14, Simon wants to raise awareness of PTSD within the ‘Bluelight’ Emergency Services, raise awareness of treatable Men’s Cancers and most importantly raise money for the 2 charities working to treat PTSD (Rock2Recovery) and Men’s Cancers (The Chestnut Appeal).
Adventure, believing anything is possible and a love of the outdoors has been the catalyst for some of the great moments in Steve’s life and the mantra that kept him going through his toughest of times.
Steve was diagnosed with PTSD in 2017, the result of several traumatic incidents accrued during his 30 year military and Police career.
Steve was lucky, he asked for help and received support, counselling and mentorship from mental health professionals, family and friends.
After using running and adventure sports as a way of helping him manage his PTSD and an off the wall suggestion from co founder Simon, that they both row across the Atlantic Ocean! Statuscode14 was born.
Steve’s goal now is that Statuscode14 raises as much money as possible for the charities and to develop it into a platform for those with PTSD or Cancer to plan, take part in and complete their own challenges.
“I love the outdoors and pushing myself physically and mentally. Living and working in the Highlands of Scotland I’m surrounded by stunning mountains and epic Lochs, it’s been my gym and training ground for my previous endurance challenges including for the 2022 Talisker row.
My ‘day job’ as a MOD Police Officer relies heavily on teamwork, working together to achieve an objective or helping others to perform at their best. I’ve rowed the Atlantic Ocean one and ‘a half’ times already ( ask me about the ‘half’ if you ever meet me, it’s a good story). My experience from both crossings helped contribute to the SC14 team successfully reaching Antigua and in turn raising awareness and money for our two charities.”
12th December 2022 – 10th February 2023
The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the premier event in ocean rowing. This incredible challenge took Simon, Steve, and Matt 60 days 4 hours and 7 minutes to complete. They rowed across more than 3000 Miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (17oN 61oW).
The annual race began in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world. The race structure brings together an environment where teams from across the globe gather in the race village San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands. The atmosphere was electric as people helped each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. All with the same objective – to take on the unique experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge bought together teams from all walks of life united by the same objective: to take on the unique challenge of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat. The Teams battled with sleep deprivation, salt sores, and physical extremes inflicted by the race. Rowers are left with their own thoughts, an expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side.
The race offered a different experience to all involved. The challenge created strong friendships and competitiveness giving way to the camaraderie that is required to complete the challenge. Upon finishing, rowers joined a small community of friends that have shared the adventures of an ocean crossing. The mental and physical endurance will result in a life-changing achievement, that will never be forgotten.
Visit the Talisker Whisky website to find out more about the Ocean Row.