Ikeys Rowing the Atlantic
Former Ikey Rugby players Martin Muller and Grant Kemp along with two other rugby teammates from Hong Kong will be participating in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge at the end of the year. It is a 4800km race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua. They are doing this in an effort to raise money for their chosen charity, Childfund Pass it Back, which uses rugby as a vehicle to educate and empower underprivileged children.
Martin played for the Ikeys between 2008 and 2010, earning caps for WP, the Stormers and SA under 20 before moving on to play for Griquas and the Golden Lions/Lions. Since 2016 he has been playing in Hong King for the Valley RFC.
Grant played for the Ikeys in 2010 before moving to Tuks, following that stints with the SWS Eagles and the Southern Kings. Grant has been playing rugby in Hong Kong for the past few years.
They are following in the footsteps of former Ikey and Springbok No 8 Dugald Macdonald and fellow Ikey Dave Mitchell, who rowed the Atlantic in December 2001. At the time Dugald and Dave were 52 and 53 years old respectively. They rowed from Tenerife to Barbados, which took them 70 days. This epic journey which saw them battle 4-meter swells, raising awareness for the Street Universe initiative, a program to help with the plight of street children in Cape Town.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a race with purpose – an inspirational event, where everyday people can achieve extraordinary things. It is a soul-changing journey and the challenge of a lifetime. The crews will spend between 30 to 90 days at sea where they could face commanding waves, extreme physical challenge and experience nature in its purest form as well as a whole host of marine wildlife. There will be international teams – including four-man crews, all-female and solo crews – from countries all over the world, including South Africa.
To reach the start line, teams have had to demonstrate similar levels of vigour, determination and strength of character, as they’ll require at sea. The crews have worked tirelessly to secure partners and donations, while training – often around a full-time job – to prepare to row the 1.5 million oar strokes needed to cross the ocean.
Each rower has a unique and personal motivation for racing; from charity fundraising to building awareness of ocean health.
If you would like to help the boys reach the finish line, they are in the process of looking for corporate partners.