Dubliners’30 days non-stop rowing from Canary Islands to Antigua later this year

by Gazette Reporter
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A chance connection on social media in 2022 brought Dublin men Amir Anwar Hameed from Cabinteely and Mark Bolger from Sandymount together having not been in contact for seven years since they left school.  

The plan was originally hatched in 2021 when Amir (Irish) and Marko (German), then Aerospace undergraduates and flatmates with no rowing experience, came across the challenge while preparing for exams. Firm believers that anything is possible with a strong vision, what started as exam procrastination has led them down a two-year campaign path alongside their studies.   

When the campaign was launched on social media, Mark congratulated his former classmate and offered his support, little did he realise that one message would lead him to eventually join the team and move to Delft in March of 2023 to train. Mark has been a competitive sailor since the age of 6 & following his studies at Trinity & UCD, he has been working as a sustainability education specialist working on EU projects.  

Recently the team was then joined by Paul (Dutch) a third aerospace engineer who is a competitive rower and Team Out of the Blue was born & are now in full time training to take on the biggest challenge of their lives rowing 4800km across the Atlantic Ocean.  

Amir said: “There is no doubt that we will face physical limits during this journey, but above all, our team’s spirit and mental resilience will be put to the test. We realized that the uncertainties we will encounter on the ocean are akin to those experienced by young people every day. In light of this, we are undertaking this challenge to raise vital funds for our chosen charities, MIND Us in the Netherlands and JIGSAW in Ireland, both of which provide essential support to young people. We view this as an opportunity to instil the belief in ourselves and those around us that through collaboration and resilience we all have the ability to take on challenges life may throw at us.”

The team all share a passion for sustainability and Amir explains ‘with the ocean being our home for over 30 days we want to highlight its importance as the lifeblood of our planet. As engineering and science students, we believe in the skills we learned to contribute our part to tackling current challenges. We will collect ocean data during our crossing for ground-truth validation of a Dutch student-run marine conservation tool and co-develop an ocean literacy primary school programme in Ireland that will use our crossing to educate and inspire a younger generation to find their passion and take action.’  

To reach the start-line and accomplish their goals, Team Out of the Blue relies on the support of generous individuals. Having secured their ocean rowing boat, they are now seeking to raise 15,000 euros to acquire essential ocean communications and safety equipment. This crucial equipment includes satellite phones, an internet-terminal antenna, emergency locator beacons, a liferaft, lifejackets, handheld GPS devices, temperature sensors, and lifelines. The acquisition of this equipment not only ensures their safe participation in the journey but also enables them to share their story in real-time during the crossing, amplifying the impact they can make for their chosen charities. Furthermore, after the crossing, the equipment will be sold, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to their charities. 

Amir, Mark, Marko and Paul were in Ireland this week to raise awareness for their challenge.  

Team Out of the Blue 



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