World Records Remain Two Years On

23 January 2018

One of our proudest case studies is the Coxless Crew. It’s been two years since The Coxless Crew arrived in Cairns Australia after their gruelling row across the worlds biggest Ocean, setting off from San Francisco USA and setting two world records.

The journey took nearly 10 months, conquering 8446 miles of Ocean in an ever changing environment that contrasted immense beauty with danger beyond any expectations.

During the first three weeks into the adventure they faced storms which whipped up huge waves, “can you imagine; waves the size of houses, then being dragged up one side and hurtling down the other side? It was like being on a roller coaster, with no harness to hold you in!”

Just 29 foot in length, the small boat (Doris) was tossed around like a cork, while the girls desperately tried to batten down the hatches and keep them battened down. The storms caused damage to the battery connections. Without battery power they would have no method of making drinking water and their communication with the outside world would be affected. They had no option but to make the difficult decision to turn back.

How many times in business do we end up starting something only to have to turn back and rethink our strategy? Many entrepreneurs we know testify to making many wrong decisions and having to go back to the drawing board.

Although this situation forced the Coxless Crew to regroup, their training, planning and coaching ensured they had the tenacity and determination to try again. It would have been so easy to give up, the hard option was to get back on the boat and start rowing again, especially when it was four weeks over schedule, presenting even more complications to come.

Their coach gave them the tools to cope with such instances. Whether in the world of sports, expeditions, or athletics, the most successful people see the value in having a qualified coach to help them make great decisions and develop coping strategies to ensure they stay true to their values and goals.

Now; it’s one thing to start a journey like the ‘Pacific Row’ not knowing what you will really face out in the Pacific Ocean, there seems to be a kind of naivety that helps, however, it is a completely different proposition mentally, to restart the journey, knowing exactly what you will be facing out there.

“We were so proud of this expedition, because the team stuck rigidly to their principles and values. They were motivated and were driven by their strong sense of purpose. They were becoming ‘unstoppable’, which was one of their guiding principles”.

 After the necessary repairs to Doris was complete, they got back behind the oars and rowed out from Santa Barbara, into more treacherous waters to overcome immense adversity.

What made them do this? Or what motivated them to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and get back out there? The truth is many things, however, integral to their motivation, is the Team coaching programme, that New Level Results produced with the team, before they left San Francisco.

Interestingly, after 49 days at sea the Coxless Crew recounted:

Day 49 – Our Best Year Yet!

Update: In the last 24 hours we’ve been treated to the highest winds we’ve had since leaving Santa Barbara. Intermittent squalls have come with dark, menacing clouds, driving rain and waves faintly visible by the misty moonlight coming at us from all angles.

Safe to say we’re all wet again but not quite as cold as we were. We are thankful for some fresh water to rinse out our salt encrusted wet weather gear but find that as soon as that happens, we get dumped on by yet another saltwater wave undoing all the good work! However, yet again, we remain in high spirits and still laugh at ourselves and with each other. Why?

  •  I am truly dumbfounded and quite frankly astounded by how the 4 of us have dealt with life over the last 49 (or 65 from San Fran) days.
  •  Why have we not wanted to kill one another?
  • Why have we not had moments of complete frustration with how long this leg is taking us?
  • Why are we not completely delirious from sleep exhaustion?
  • Why do we never complain about getting up every two hours to go and sit on the oars in driving rain, pitch black darkness, rough sea state, cold or hot conditions?
  • Why are we still joking, laughing, looking after each other and in essence…working amazingly well together as a team?
  • There are definitely a number of reasons…but for now I want to share one of them with you:
  • I love how there is a universal order to how things happen in life.

Two serendipitous moments led us to working with the amazing Andrew Duncan at New Level Results to create a Team programme that has helped streamline us as a team and get to the start line as well as how we are functioning out here on the Pacific.

Flash back to 2001 when I was working in Nepal and I met a group of people who had just come back from the most successful summiting of Mount Everest in history. They had broken 4 World Records and their elation at conquering the roof of the world was incredible. First blind man to summit, oldest man to summit, first father/son team to summit and most people to summit at any one time.

Turns out that they had been following a similar Team programme.

Flash back to 2012 when I was working in Mallorca and my path crossed with Andrew and we spent a few hours talking about values and with the aid of his Value Cards I had to whittle down 10 of my top important life values into only one. Andrew and I remained friends and reconnected in the UK when I got involved with the row. The coaching programme offered by Andrew became the glue that allowed us to put procedures firmly in place and gave us a solid framework to follow to improve our effectiveness as a team – vital to the success of the expedition.

Although we are all very different characters, we are able to work really well together as we have a shared objective and shared values. This is very important.

We’ve always had clear objectives.

New Level Results helped us set out our objectives, our guidelines, values, top 10 goals and prioritise what needed to be done. It was just what we needed to keep all our plans together in one tidy and effective package.

We needed an online system that would not take up too much of our time and would help us all focus on the job at hand and keep us all on track. It made each of us accountable for championing certain areas and get results!

The other great thing about the coaching is that we have an external coach/facilitator work with us (Andrew). He is objective, there is no personal tie to the project and he offered a unique professional perspective.

Our project has been in 2 stages:

Stage 1– Getting to the start line essentially setting up a business. We had to deal with areas including sponsorship, PR/Media/Marketing, logistics, finances, legal and admin

Stage 2 – Successful crossing of the Pacific, the expedition

The first part of the teams ‘Pacific Ocean’ plan, which formed the foundation of their success consisted of three key aspects:

Team Guidelines

1.      Believe in yourself, trust in each other and the strength of the team

2.      Row with SPIRIT (our values)

3.      Be Unstoppable, stroke by stroke

Team Paradigm

Control the controllable and conquer OUR Pacific

Team Focus

Enjoy the journey! Live the moment


Inspiring and encouraging individuals and teams to reach their full potential is exactly what the New Level Results coaching team aim to do; a great match, as this was exactly what the expedition was all about, four women who have never rowed before understanding what their full potential is.

Not only did the team live in the moment, but the girls are now regularly on the speaking circuit, reliving the moments and sharing the life lessons from such an amazing undertaking. Proving that nothing is impossible with a vision, a well formed plan and a coach to stretch your performance, inspire you and hold you accountable.

For more information on all of our coaching packages visit New Level Results  

Registered Office 3 & 4 Park Court, Riccall Road,
Escrick, York YO19 6ED.

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