A STORM ADVENTURES EXPEDITION
Follow our journey across the Atlantic in 2018
Rune and Stian will set out from Battery park on Manhattan, New York, in May 2018. This will be 122 years after Georg Harbo and Gabriel Samuelson set off over the Atlantic, and became the first to row across under their own strength only.
When we cast off in 2018 our journey to achieve three major goals start:
1 - The History:
"We want to bring Harbo and Samuelsen`s amazing accomplishment to life through our expedition and TV series for NRK"
For most people Harbo and Samuelsen's great achievement is still unknown. They were the first people to row across the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to Isles of Scilly, in an open 18-foot clinker-built oak rowing boat. Their dangerous and arduous journey almost killed them, when their boat capsized in extreme weather, losing all their supplies. Their prospects looked doomed. But by sheer luck Harbo and Samuelsen met a Norwegian schooner, the "Viking", which helped resupply them, and they could continue their journey.
2 - The Record:
"We aim to beat Harbo and Samuelsen’s 55 day record for the crossing from New York to the Isles of Scilly"
Incredibly Harbo and Samuelsen’s 120-year-old record still stands today. On the 1st August 1896 they arrived in St. Mary on The Isles of Scilly, after a grueling 55 days at sea. Although several two-man teams have tried to break their record over the following years, not one has yet succeeded. We aim set the new world record.
3 - The Distance:
"We plan to increase the distance rowed and become the first adventurers to row the between New York and Oslo, using our own muscle power alone"
At a distance of 7300 km or 3950 nautical miles, the journey between New York and Oslo has never been rowed before. We plan to break that record too. After our crossing between NYC and the Isles of Scilly, we’ll then continue through the English Channel, up the North Sea, across Skagerrak and finally into Oslo Fjord, crossing the finish line in the City of Oslo itself. We plan to row the entire distance in just 70 days; covering over 100 km per day.
The ocean rowing boat that we’ll use to cross the Atlantic in 2018 is now located in Norway. The boat was built and designed in England by Rannoch Adventures, especially for us. The work started in January 2015, and was delivered in late July.
From our very first training trip along the Southern Norwegian coast we’ve been attracting media attention and the story has been covered extensively in both the local and national press. On the 7th August we were featured in Norway’s largest Summer TV show – Sommeråpent – where we talked about our forthcoming expedition.
Our modern ocean rowing boat is the most advanced ever built. The 22-foot hull is made of carbon fibre, is self-righting and is aerodynamically shaped, with 2-carbon fibre sliding seats. The boat has a small cabin at the bow and large bulkheads for storing supplies. It’s equipped with a Schenker Smart 30 Water-maker, AIS and Echomax VHF radios, 2 solar panels and an Efoy fuel cell Comfort 80 as a backup charging system for our 2 x 12V lithium batteries. The navigation system is connected to an autopilot with an outside control panel. The boat is registered with a call sign, MMSI number and name to help make us visible to passing vessels.
The TV Series
We have already been commissioned to film a primetime TV-series for NRK. Toothfairy AS will be making the programmes, with producer Martin Schilde and director Hans Kristian Schilde at the helm. This is the same production company that produced our series "Kampen om Sørpolen" for NRK in 2009.
Sponsor and Media Opportunities
We can provide logo exposure on the boat, our clothing and our homepage. We can also provide logo exposure on social media, including our project's own Facebook and Instagram pages. During the expedition an interactive map will update our position every a day and you’ll be able to follow our daily progress compared to Harbo and Samuelsen’s record.
In addition to the NRK TV-series, VG (Norway’s largest newspaper) is interested in following the project. Snapchat wants to follow us through their live story service, starting with our departure from New York. And local newspapers are also publishing articles about the project and will keep following our story as we cross the Atlantic.
Personal appearances, lectures, footage and photos from the expedition can also be made available. In addition through our company, Storm Adventures, that has worked on extensively on the hit global TV series 71 ° North, we can offer extraordinary tailor-made challenges for you and your team. We want you to use our unique knowledge about implementation and personal development through challenge, to help develop and improve your company.
Please contact us to discuss opportunities for exposure and co-operation. We look forward to hearing from you and what we can achieve together!
George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen
Photo: the book ATLANTERHAVSROERNE
The Forgotten Heroes
“At nine o'clock we heard a terrible big wave coming. We said among ourselves that it`s too big. With a bang it threw the boat around, as if the boat was a nutshell. We passed several feet under water, and when we finally got head above water again, we were both in the lee of the boat. And there we struggled in the raging sea and swam with full oil wear and rubber boots on” - The Atlantic Ocean
In 1896 two Norwegians set out on one of history's most dangerous and seemingly impossible journeys. George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen accomplished something that no one had done before. An incredible feat of endurance, survival and daring–do. A world record that still stands today. To row across the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
The two Norwegian American emigrants from Farsund and Sande, had settled in New Jersey, where they worked as fishermen along the coast.
Like too many “great” ideas, this one was hatched in a bar in New York. Working in the shellfish industry was seasonal and times were hard for Harbo and Samuelsen, in late 19th century New York. So over a pint or two an idea developed…“Let´s row to Europe!”
When they set off in their small wooden boat, on the 6th June 1896, from Battery Park several thousand people turned up to watch them disappear over the horizon. Amongst the crowd were some of the world's major newspapers, both the NY Times and The World covered the event.
The 18-foot boat, made of Oak and clad in Cedar, was called the "Fox", and was named after the millionaire Richard K. Fox, publisher of the The National Police Gazette. He promised the two men gold medals, prize money of $10,000 and a grand reception in Paris and if they managed to row all the way to Le Havre in France.
After 55 days on the high seas, through storms and gales, they arrived at the British Isles of Scilly and just two days later they rowed to victory across the English Channel to Le Havre.
Harbo and Samuelsen got their gold medals but the $10,000 prize money never materialized and they never got the recognition they so richly deserved. In Norway their story got some public and media attention but their heroic achievement, their incredible feat, was soon overshadowed by the explorer Fridtjof Nansen's return from the Arctic.
Read more about us here: www.stormadventrures.no
All my life I’ve been entranced by the outdoors, by the world around us. And that fascination has grown within me as I’ve come to appreciate both the simplicity and extremes of outdoor living.
Through my years in the Norwegian Army and now through my work with Storm Adventures, the great outdoors has become my life. To me the contrasts found in nature make experiences even stronger. This is the closest I can get to an explanation of what drives me.
During my Army years I had some incredible experiences, but for me, the proudest moment, the biggest milestone in my career so far, has been setting up Storm Adventures with my childhood friend Rune Malterud. In 2010 my hobby became my job and a dream came true. This was the start of a journey that’s taken Rune and me around the world. We’ve experienced the jungles of Brazil, the mountains of the Himalayas and Patagonia, the African Savannah, the Greenland icecap and the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. I would argue that we have the best office in the world!
This journey’s also brought us plenty of publicity both in Norway and worldwide through the work we do for TV production companies but also for our own expeditions.
My spirit of adventure and my reverence for just what Harbo and Samuelsen achieved in 1896, is the biggest driving force behind my desire to follow in the footsteps of these great 2 heroes. Through our modern day expedition across the North Atlantic, I hope we can reinvigorate their incredible story and bring them the credit they deserve!
Rune Malterud 36
Stian Aker 36
I can imagine nothing more liberating or captivating than to cross one of the world's biggest oceans in a 22-foot rowing boat, but why do challenges like this attract me?
My theory is that every experience shapes me, and within me lies a curiosity and search for new challenges. I constantly dream of what an “inland sailor” from Toten has the ability to achieve.
In 2009 Stain and I took part in a race to the South Pole. The race was the first since Scott and Amundsen in 1911. We both felt a great burden rested on our shoulders to maintain Norway's honor as a proud Polar nation. After 800 grueling km’s we crossed the finsh line in 1st place and won the inaugural South Pole race. The Daily Mail’s headline: "History repeated itself."
Much has happened to me since that victory in the South Pole. Today Stian and I run Storm Adventures, a company that specializes in helping TV production companies and expeditions in some of the world’s most extreme locations. Since its establishment in 2010, we have been responsible for route planning, logistics and safety for: 71° North, Beyond Boundaries, The Amazing Race, Monsen på Villspor and Dropped. We have guided and facilitated British productions, including BBC News teams, Deadly 60, Harry’s North Pole Heroes and Harry’s South Pole Heroes.
Non-TV work has also seen us cross the Greenland Icecap in 2012, where we celebrated each day's hike with coffee and cognac in our tent. And in more recent years we have done numerous other trips, expeditions and activities, but rowing across the Atlantic will undoubtedly be our biggest challenge yet!
My desire for adventure is about my desire to experience contrasts. The difference between rowing a small wooden boat across Mjøsa, the biggest lake in Norway, and crossing the Atlantic Ocean will be enormous. The often too short distance, between heaven and hell, as we battle our way across the Atlantic will be something to both relish and fear. Life aboard a small wooden rowing boat bobbing for over 70 days across one of the world’s biggest oceans will both challenge and liberate me. It’s to experience contrasts like these that I constantly want to keep challenging myself.
As childhood friends growing up in Bøverbru in Toten, Stian and I have always shared a longing for adventure, an ambition to achieve and a sense of excitement at what the world has to offer. And most of all we both share an unbreakable desire to break the North Atlantic Record.
"Kampen om Sørpolen 2009", NRK1 - see all the episodes here