Zhik team up with the Brain Waves Challenge

By | September 16, 2019

Using the ocean waves to combat debilitating mental and physical illness. Meet the team at Southampton International Boat Show, marina stand M176.

Zhik is delighted to announce its support of Monkey Fist Adventures 2020 Brain Waves Challenge, an ocean rowing attempt to achieve two incredible world firsts. In 2020 the team of four will row unsupported and non-stop across two Oceans, The Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, to generate invaluable research data into Parkinson’s Disease and PTSD.

More importantly than being the first people to row two oceans in the same year, the Brain Waves team includes a crew member living with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease, who will be part of the Atlantic crossing. A crew member living with PTSD will join the team for the Indian Ocean crossing.

Working in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University, they will be collecting data for ground-breaking research that could lead to better drug and dietary therapies and rehabilitation programmes for sufferers of Parkinson’s, a condition which affects many people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Their data gathering will also provide the University with enhanced understanding how exercise benefits those suffering from anxiety and depression, to help treat PTSD, a condition suffered by an estimated 3.8m people in the UK alone.

The Brain Waves team will be using Zhik Isotak offshore gear to protect them from the extremes of ocean weather, as well as a selection of thermals, warm layers and garments to manage moisture and UV protection in the heat. They will row unsupported from Lanzarote to Antigua across the Atlantic Ocean, and then from Australia to Africa across the Indian Ocean, and will have to deal with everything nature throws at them.

Brain Waves Skipper, Billy Taylor, comments: “We are thrilled to be supported by Zhik for next year’s challenge. After wearing Zhik’s gear for a 70 day crossing of the Indian Ocean last year, we cannot rate the functionality and durability of their high performance clothing highly enough. Our team will spend around 145 days afloat, rowing a 2 hours on, 2hours off shift pattern 24 hours a day, and getting no more than 90 minutes sleep at any one time. They will live, sleep and communicate with the outside world in a space that’s smaller than a double bed. Having the right technical clothing for when the waves are crashing over us, protecting us from harsh sun and wind exposure will play a critical part for our ability to achieve this extreme challenge.”

Zhik CEO, Piet Poelmann, adds: “We are in awe of the Brain Waves Challenge and their record attempt, which goes far beyond a massive ocean row, and potentially will help change lives for thousands of Parkinson’s and sufferers of mental illness. Zhik is excited and humbled to be supporting their two ocean challenges, which kick off early in 2020.”

The Indian Ocean Crew, pictured right, are John Haskell, Billy Taylor, Alex Mason and Rachel Hearne. For the Atlantic Ocean crossing, Billy and Alex are joined by Liz Dennett and Scott Butler.

Billy Taylor and the Brain Waves Challenge team will be at the Southampton Boat Show with their boat on marina stand M176 for the duration of the Show. #MadeForWater

The video below is from Billy’s 2018 row on the Indian Ocean and gives a feel for the conditions the team will have to endure during their Challenge.