St Katharine Docks

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World Record Attempt

The Common Oars are a team of four young men who intend to break the world record for rowing around Great Britain unaided. They will be setting off from St. Katharine Docks and underneath Tower Bridge on 27th May (weather permitting).

They’ll live on their 30ft ocean rowing boat, adopting a 2 hours on—2 hours off cycle 24/7. They will make all their own water and take on over 6,000 calories a day to keep them at their best.

Furthermore they are raising £75,000 for the amazing Nuvasive Spine Foundation. A charity that carries out life changing spinal surgeries for disadvantaged communities around the globe.

We caught up with Dan Forster, one of the team of four ahead of his arrival here at St. Kats.

1. What inspired you to take on this world record attempt? We looked at a lot of challenges including the Atlantic, only 14 people (4 teams) have ever completed this. More people have been to the moon than completed this. What's not to love about a challenge as difficult as that.

2. Tell us a bit about how you prepare both physically and mentally for a challenge such as this. We have been mainly focusing on strength rather than conditioning in terms of fitness, spending a lot of time together in order to make sure we are prepared for it, finally we have been lucky to work with a sports psychologist called Keith Goddard who has worked on similar challenges. Without him I don't think we would be as ready as we are now.  

3. Only 14 people have ever achieved this feat. What makes this challenge so difficult? It's 2000 miles of constant route planning and adjustment, waiting for tides and navigating difficult passages, we first have to cross the worlds busiest shipping lane in The Dove Straight, then battle the worlds largest tidal stream in the Severn before tackling the Irish Sea and the North Sea, both infamous for their variable weather and vicious seas.

4. You say you will take on 6,000 calories a day. What will you be eating, and how will you store this much food on-board? All our food is freeze dried ration packs. They're high in energy but somewhat low in flavour. We will use a watermaker to desalinate sea water and then boil its and add to our food. I think we might need to take some salt, pepper and gravy just to add a bit more flavour.

5. What are you most worried about? Is it the lack of toilet facilities?! Unfortunately we have now had plenty of practice with the Bucket now. For me it's going to be the lack of sleep and being able to constantly see the shoreline and ships, we can't come to shore and we can't have any assistance. Knowing they're there but not to help us is going to he tough. 


The Common Oars will arrive at St. Katharine Docks on 18th May, so wish them well and plenty of luck if you see them! You're also able to track their progress on their own website by clicking here.