Dom and the team celebrate in the marina on Barbados

Atlantic Quest 2007

Dom Mee lead a four man ocean rowing team to break the Atlantic rowing record and bring back the Blue Ribbon back the UK from an 11 man French team. The team missed the record by just 48 hours but did get a silver for the second fastest time for a four man team of 37 days and 8 hours.

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Expedition overview

Achievements

Dom and the team approach the finishing point off Barbados
Dom and the team approach the finishing point off Barbados
The rowing team pass an old-style sailing ship at Greenwich on the River Thames. The ship is firing its cannon, the team shout a greeting back.
Winning the Great River Race
Dom and the boys, standing in the boat, open a celebratory bottle of champagne
Arrival in Paris after the Great River Race

The campaign achieved a number of milestones.

  • Rowing London to Paris
  • Atlantic Quest was first boat over the line beating 273 entrants and setting a new record for an Ocean Rowing boat in the race.

The team also won the Great River Race. This is London’s River Marathon and Europe’s biggest river race.

Progress of the team

map of the mid atlantic showing the team's route between the Canary Islands and the Caribbean
© X-Plot

The map shown here was produced by the X-Plot service and shows the progress of the AtlanticQuest rowing expedition as it neared its destination.

Further maps of Dom and the team’s position, along with precise positions, can be found on the website of the Ocean Rowing Society

The team

Tom ‘T1000’ Rendell

portrait photo of Tom ‘T1000’ Rendell

Tom Rendell spent 8 years in the Royal Marines, seeing active service on operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan twice. Having enjoyed the trials and tribulations of this period immensely, he decided to leave and take up the challenge of a new career, whilst remaining involved in the Royal Marines and the profession of soldiering through the Royal Marines Reserve in Bristol, his home town.

Tom decided to turn his passion for rather extreme exercise into a career, and is now happily earning a living as a personal trainer. Apparently some people pay their own hard earned money to be hurt!

He is a keen competitor, having enjoyed boxing, rugby and rowing, as well as having run a marathon and ultra-marathon during 2006.

Although Tom may seem to be a one dimensional character, he does (pretend to) have other interests. Perhaps surprisingly, he has played chess at a competitive level and enjoys fly fishing and fly tying.

Pete Bird and many of Tom’s friends will testify to his bad habits. It is probably best not to elaborate, but suffice to say Birdy has suffered somewhat from time to time in the confined space of the bow cabin of GBR Challenge…

Pete ‘Birdy’ Bird

portrait photo of Pete ‘Birdy’ Bird

Interestingly, Pete ‘Birdy’ Bird shares his name with the legendary and pioneering ocean rower of a previous generation.

Pete has made Bristol his adopted home having studied engineering at the university there. While he currently does his best to recruit for the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the Reserve forces as a day job, his engineering background has been useful in helping to equip the boat and provide small improvements wherever possible.

In terms of rowing, Pete has had a fair bit of experience with river boats and tries to use this (combined with his cycling background) to excuse his dubious collection of sports clothing. His technical rowing knowledge, freakishly long legs and fondness for head to toe lycra mean he certainly looks every inch the rower and, as such, seemed at home when training on some pretty narrow single skulls on the river Thames.

Pete brings enthusiasm and youthful vigour to the team as its youngest member, as well as a good sense of humour.

Ed ‘Edwardo’ James

portrait photo of Ed ‘Edwardo’ James

Ed James is 27 years old and, by living in London, represents the ‘non West Country’ side of team Atlantic Quest.

Recently he has been working for HM Courts Service within the Department for Constitutional Affairs based in Westminster, although previously he worked for a politician amongst other jobs.

‘Shevardnadze’, as he has become known to the team, has been a member of the RMR since 2003 and last year was deployed to Iraq, where he worked alongside another member of the Atlantic Quest Team, Pete ‘Birdy’ Bird.

It was in fact through the RMR that Ed first met Dom in January 2005. RMR London managed to produce a couple of people to help Dom man his stands at the London Boat Show and, after a week of publicising Dom’s arctic expeditions and much evening revelry, Dom kindly said he would consider Ed in any future ventures. Good to his word, Ed was invited to an initial selection in June 2005 and began the journey that would culminate in him being chosen for the final team.

Before becoming involved with Team Quest, Ed’s rowing experience was limited to a 20 minute paddle on the river by Hampton Court with a girlfriend; he has learned a lot in the past 18 months however! He has been particularly inspired by the great pioneer, Jac Chad.

Despite a limited technical rowing history, Ed has been involved with sport for many years and has represented SE England Schools and English Universities at rugby. He has participated in a number of multi-discipline races in the last few years including one with Birdy in Bristol as well as competing in an ultramarathon event this summer.

Ed is the team’s 2 i/c and a lifelong admirer of the great Jac Chad.