Icom UK are supporting two British Firemen who are taking part in ‘The Atlantic Challenge’, one of the world’s toughest races

Icom UK are supporting two British Firemen who are taking part in
‘The Atlantic Challenge’, one of the world’s toughest races. The team
appropriately called ‘Team Atlantic Dash’ comprises John Haskell and
Jamie Windsor, both from Cardiff. They will be attempting to row 3000
miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Their goal is to raise awareness and
over £100,000 for 4 charities. The Firefighters Charity; Help for
Heroes; WRVS (Women’s Royal Voluntary Service) and Breast Cancer Care.
Icom UK will be supplying their rowing boat with an MA-500TR Class B
AIS transponder, IC-M505 VHF/ DSC transceiver and IC-M23 buoyant VHF
The Icom equipment provides a complete, compact and waterproof
communication solution providing VHF communication, Digital Selective
Calling (DSC) and Automatic Identification System (AIS). The MA-500TR Class B AIS transponder
will provide the rowers with the ability to monitor other vessels in
their area as well as the ability to actively notify other vessels of
their exact location, thus aiding their navigation and increasing their
safety at sea.
Asked why are they were doing the Atlantic Challenge, John Haskell said,
‘3 years ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now
recovered but it was a life changing experience. The support we had from
everyone was amazing and I wanted to give back and raise some money for
charity. This was the reason for choosing Breast Cancer Care as one of
our charities. I’ve always been an armchair adventurer and was looking
for something special as a project. The Atlantic Ocean row always seemed
a bit extreme and to be quite honest I found the idea quite terrifying.
But when I was offered the loan of an ocean class rowing boat it took
me a nano second to say “yes please!” I’ve always loved the ocean and
have a healthy respect for it.’

He added,’ the idea was seeded over two years ago with the offer of the
boat. The plans, preparation and fundraising have accelerated into
complete full time work. These last few months have seen us working on
the project until midnight most nights of the week. This includes
totally refurbishing the boat from the keel up.’
Asked why they need radio and AIS equipment on this Voyage, John said.’
Besides being vital equipment on the scrutineering list these items
above all will give us piece of mind. Even though the Atlantic Ocean is
massive there are busy shipping lanes with traffic going in all
directions. Having such a small freeboard with no masts for radar
reflectors we are totally invisible as a radar target. This leads to
major collision dangers and small boats are regularly involved in such
cases. The modern Icom AIS will give us the best possible chance of
being visible to these ships and also alert us to the proximity of any
vessels. An absolutely vital piece of equipment. Besides being crucial
for portage and comms when close to shore radio equipment can be used to
hail these vessels and also be used if involved in search and rescue

He added,’ obviously with the remoteness and hostility of the
environment we will be facing, equipment has to be user friendly and
extremely reliable. Word of mouth when looking for reputable
manufacturers lead to Icom’s name repeatedly ‘popping up’. This led us
to wanting this company’s products.’

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd said, “Everyone at Icom UK
wishes both John and Jamie every success in this epic voyage. Good

To find out more about ‘Team Atlantic Dash’ and follow the adventure, which begins on 4th December 2011, visit www.atlanticdash.co.uk.