The
dads

Skipper

Age (at start): 53

Matt Garman

Describe yourself: I’m an entrepreneur. I love a challenge and seek adventure and opportunity. I have a lot of raw energy and enthusiasm. When I can’t find a challenge, I create one. I built and exited two IT businesses and am now the CEO and founder of SalesEnabla, an innovative online platform that allows me to turn my passion and experience towards helping businesses achieve their real potential. 

When you’re not working: I’ve been playing Rugby since school, but when I hit 40, age and ego made me hang up my boots. Although I came out of retirement earlier this year to play a match, I was not too shabby at all! I sit on the Board of Directors at my local club and I’m an accredited RFU Level 2 coach. 

What did you take up after Rugby: Another rugby veteran recommended a triathlon. It was a challenge for sure, I trained and kept going. The tri-discipline of running, swimming and cycling was hard and I wasn’t really enjoying it because of the running. I loved swimming and cycling so the simple answer was Ironman. Completing it was a huge achievement but it felt empty.  I’m a team player and there was no-one to share it with. 

What was next: The Channel Swim. I missed being part of a team, people who suffer the pain and experience the joys right alongside you.  A team mate who lifts you and one you can support in return, that’s what I love. Our relay team of four trained for a year. It was gruelling, exhausting, exciting and far and above the greatest sporting challenge I’ve ever faced. 

Family: My wife Sam and I have two children Joseph (14) and Mollie (12) 

What about rowing: Rowing has always been part of my fitness regime and after the Channel Swim I heard about the ‘Ultimate Triathlon’, cycling around the world, climbing Mount Everest and rowing the Atlantic. It planted the seed. Last year I climbed Mont Blanc and my thoughts turned to rowing… 

Why the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Row: It’s a team event, it’s the ultimate endurance challenge. Physically tough, mentally tough, it’s going to be unlike anything any of us have ever known. We’ll be a team, supporting each other, but the real challenge I think, for all of us, is going to be the emotional and mental toughness to achieve our goal.

Crew Member

 

Age (at start): 47

 

Steve Woolley

 

Describe yourself: I’m a successful business owner, running a bespoke national commercial insurance brokerage based in the North West. An adventurer, mischief maker but most importantly, a team player. 

What’s an adventure for you: Anything that pushes me to the limit, I’ve completed three Ironman and multiple half Ironman challenges. Open swimming, my longest swim was the five and a half mile Coniston Lake swim (end-to-end). The London to Cannes charity cycle, as part of a peloton covering a minimum of 450 miles out of a potential 900 miles. In 1998 as part of a world tour, I did the Everest Base Camp trek. I’m a Skier and a Scuba Diver. 

What else drives you:  I’ve played Rugby from school through to university 1st teams. I took a World Tour post University (2:1 Honours) – solo event which highlighted the benefits of an inclusive team environment and experience. I’ve travelled extensively through my work and holidays. 

Family: I’m a Father, Son, Brother and Partner.

What about rowing: I’m up for any sport. 

Why the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Row: Simple, the skipper asked me. What can I say, it’s the ultimate challenge and the gauntlet was thrown, northern pride and the call of adventure made me pick it up!

Crew Member

Age (at start):  36 (I’m the baby of the group) carrying all of his wisdom in my beautiful beard….  

James Reid

Describe yourself: 6ft, but still the shortest in the crew. Passionate about everything I do I always give 110% and have been told I wear my heart on my sleeve. 

What do you do for work: I have been a Telecom’s engineer for 14 years or so and a little over two years ago I moved to Westcon to be a presales Engineer. I help to design solutions and educate customers on the products we offer. I also coach two evenings a week at my gym, Titan Fitness. 

Family: My beautiful wife Karii and I have two amazing children Vesper (7) and Caleb (5). 

When you’re not working: I’ve always been big on playing any sport but team sports are the best. I’ve played football, competed as an amateur boxer and, over eight years ago, started on my CrossFit journey. I gravitated towards team competitions, the highlight was Strength in Depth Origins, where teams of 12 get together and compete against 80 other teams. A truly epic experience! 

What else drives you: CrossFit gave me a love for weightlifting, I mean, who doesn’t like lifting really heavy things?  I completed the British Weightlifting Level 1 & 2 coaching courses.  My love of Weightlifting has grown into a love of coaching it. I enjoy making people move, look and feel better in the evening classes I run at my local gym, Titan Fitness. 

What about rowing: Quite new to rowing long distances but I’m no stranger to pain and suffering after competing at a high level in a lot of sports.  I feel physically prepared for any challenge life might throw at me. 

Why the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Row: Good question. Because it’s a huge challenge, in every sense. I’m physically ready, but I know the toughest part is going to be the mental side of things. Working as a Team I know we can tackle anything and can’t wait to get on that boat!

Crew Member

Age (at start): 57 (I’m the oldest member of the Ocean Dadventure crew and proud of it!)

Neil Furminger 

Describe yourself: I was born with the heart of an adventurer and I have a lot of drive and a fierce work ethic. I joined the army at 16 as an Infantry Soldier, saw active service at 19 and completed my five years by 21. Then I decided I wanted a new challenge. 

What came next: My goal was to run my own business, be my own boss but I knew I needed broader experience so I joined the family business and learned my trade. 

What are you doing now: I run my own large company, NF Construction.  We’re a main contractor to East Sussex Highways and undertake work for Scottish Power and Energy Network Services and also carry out Cable laying and reinstatement for various energy other companies. As well as being the Director, I still like to work on the tools to ensure our quality and customer satisfaction. 

Family: I have a lovely wife Madeleine and am proud father to Lee 22, Libby 19 and Jemima 16

When you’re not working: I’m a committed and accomplished sportsman.  I played rugby from age 12 to age 50 when I reluctantly played my last game and hung up the boots. I’ll have a go at any sport and in 2013, when I was 48, became a Masters Crossfit Athlete, achieving podiums in two National Competitions. I’ve also got trophies for rugby, dragon boat racing, netball (I told you I’d have a go at any sport!) and completed the 100k TAB challenge in 2016. 

What about rowing: I’ve had a keen interest in rowing for many years and won trophies for it. 

Why the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Row: Because I’m an adventurer, I constantly test myself, the more impossible the challenge seems the more I want to do it. This is the ultimate challenge. It’s calling my name so here I am! (and I want to make my wife and kids proud too).

Sponsorship Opportunities

 As we make preparations to embark on our ambitious adventure, we’d like to offer you the opportunity to be part of the Ocean Dadventure team. We have a range of sponsorship opportunities available. They are not prescriptive and we’re happy to work with you to create an exciting package that works for us and works for you.

Charitable Donations

Alternatively, if you would like to donate to our chosen charities please visit our JustGiving page.

For this adventure we are proud to be raising money for Wolo Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK.

Ocean Dadventure Crew