The expedition team is international and diverse, and led by world ocean rowing record holder Leven Brown, of Jedburgh, Scotland.
Leven is one of the most experienced and highly regarded ocean rowing skippers in the world. He is a multiple Guinness World Record holder and survival expert.
Leven’s experience is second to none, his first ocean row, solo and unsupported from mainland Spain to Trinidad & Tobago, taught him the greatest respect for the ocean, and he gained great knowledge having no one else to rely on but himself in challenging situations.
Since then, Leven has rowed over 30,000 nautical miles, including the Trade Winds route several times, the North Atlantic from New York to the Scilly Isles and across the Indian Ocean from Western Australia to the Seychelles.
Leven’s experience of skippering ocean rowing teams and his endless energy and enthusiasm gives great encouragement to crew and sponsors alike. He will push himself to the limit and inspire his fellow ocean rowers to achieve their goals.
In 2011, 17 adventurers and Davie Flett rowed a traditional Ness Yoal from Shetland to the Faroes covering the 200 miles in approximately 45 hours and he has never looked back.
Since, he founded the Orkney Rowing Club and organised an around Orkney Row for the members, which saw 42 Orcadian's getting the chance to row in more open water and through the hours of darkness and some very strong tidal streams.
Flett’s exploits were featured in 2016 on the BBC programme, called Britain's Ancient Capitals in which they were trying to prove that it was possible to travel thousands of years earlier. The boat that was used was constructed from Willow tree branches and cowhide, this proved very successful making a crossing of the Pentland Firth in just under five hours.
Now Flett is taking on another ancient travellers’ route, in his quest to row the Northwest Passage in 2022.
Over the last 30 years Phil Kite has led some of the more innovative engineering businesses in the North East of England. He spent 20 years in the Steel Foundry Industry and more recently he was the CEO of the Reece Group and Non-Executive Director of Make UK. He is now Chair of the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Development Trust.
At age 56, with a burning ambition to do something completely different, Phil announced his departure from the Reece Group and founded his own four-man rowing team, Team Tyne Innovation, with the goal of competing in the world’s toughest row, the 3,000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Despite facing extreme weather conditions and intense physical challenges, Team Tyne Innovation crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 42 days 10 hours and 26 minutes, a new world record time for a mixed four.
The Northwest Passage team will need all his experience and leadership in the Arctic.
A keen traveller and outdoor enthusiast, Claire Hughes loves an adventure and a challenge. She thought she had peaked in 2017 after driving 3,500km across India in a tuk-tuk with an inflatable giraffe strapped to the roof.
In 2018/19, Claire rowed the Atlantic as the sole female in a crew of four, with fellow NWP members Phil Kite and Al, breaking a world record in the process.
Now, Claire shares her experiences hoping that other women will be inspired to step outside their comfort zones and embrace adventure.
Working in construction, Claire is accustomed to working in male-dominated teams and believes a female can bring positive benefits to the dynamic.
In 2003, Philip Als rowed into the history books and the Guinness Book of Records by becoming one of the first Barbadian ocean rowers to successfully cross the Atlantic.
Along with fellow rower Randal Valdez, the Barbadian rowing duo “Team Rowing Home”, undertook the 3,000 nautical mile row across the Atlantic, starting in La Gomera in the Canary Islands.
After 43 days, 14 hours and 17 minutes on the ocean, the team rowed into Port St. Charles, Barbados.
Als was a professional windsurfer before he was an adventurer. It’s been 17 years since his epic feat, and the itch to push himself has returned.
Jack Hopkins has eight years of rowing experience, and has competed in rowing tournaments as far away as South Korea (DGIST2017). Jack was member of the 1st VIII at Darwin College, Cambridge, and was the Sports Officer for the college.
But all his years of pulling strokes through the waters of the UK pale into insignificance compared to his most recent and epic exploits.
In 2018, Hopkins crossed Atlantic in 40 days as part of team Atlantic Discovery. Previously, Jack broke the Concept2 world record for distance on a rowing machine as part of a small mixed team.
Hopkins has an in depth knowledge of the history of the Northwest Passage. Explorers like Franklin and Cook inspired him to take up the mantel and attempt the last great first on earth.
Kenneth Valles is many things – an alpinist, author, and researcher from the United States. Born and raised in the wilderness of Colorado, he began climbing at a young age, amassing experience across a variety of mountaineering disciplines, including wilderness medical response.
Valles has lead expeditions on six continents, summiting peaks in many of the planet’s great ranges including the Andes and the Himalayas.
He has spent most of his career focused on global humanitarian efforts. Early work with international social and medical development projects led to an interest in humanitarian response.
As we speak, he is undergoing doctoral training in medicine (M.D.) and biomedical science (Ph.D.) at the Mayo Clinic. His medical experience will be vital up North.
Daniel Lobjoit is a 26-year-old South African currently working as a paramedic on the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
From his early days growing up in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, he fell in love with nature and the outdoors.
As a teenager, he developed a liking for endurance sports and was part of a four-person team that attempted to cross the Okavango Delta by foot. So, he is no stranger to human powered endeavours.
He has traveled, sailed, climbed and skydived in California and peddling a bicycle around the Somme Battlefields in France. He is now studying emergency medical care, a useful string to his bow in the Northwest Passage.
Daniel Kritzinger is a South African with indispensable medical experience – a general practitioner with an interest in emergency medicine and family practice.
As soon as he heard of the Northwest Passage expedition, Kritzinger could not resist signing up, to make bonds for life with his crew mates and see the last untouched landscape on earth.
Kritzinger grew up playing rugby but has since picked up kayaking, mountain climbing, cycling and music. He is an adrenaline junkie with a love for any outdoor activity, especially with a bunch of friends.
For him, the Northwest Passage represents a chance to make friends for life, while practicing his medical expertise in harsh environments.
Evan Beachler has bags of relevant experience as an Army Officer. The leadership and team management skills learned in extreme environments have set him up well for the Northwest Passage, where group dynamics are vital.
The Ohio native is a backcountry enthusiast to his core. He hikes for days in the wide expanse of America’s National Parks. So, he’s used to isolation and preparing his campsites so that they are safe from bears.
The knowledge will serve him well as the polar region’s apex predator, the polar bear, roams the shores of the Northwest Passage.
Beachler loves to workout and read. He has been inspired by books of adventure across the world, not least the stories of polar explorers. Here’s hoping he can emulate their stories in 2022 with the expedition to the Northwest Passage.
There are few people with a more impressive adventure CV than Tim Crockett and his experience will be invaluable on board.
He was part of the elite military force the Special Boat Service – he put the skills he learned to good use and now helps film crews navigate hostile environments like the Amazon. But while he used his experience in the British Army to propel his career, some of his former colleagues were not so lucky. Friends were suffering from PTSD and then tragically a close pal took his own life in 2016.
Tim wanted to do something big to draw attention to the plight of veterans. So he rowed solo across the Atlantic.
“I had to go deep into the pain cave and really collect all the strength and effort I thought I didn’t have inside me, but it came from somewhere,” he said after finishing his Atlantic crossing.
Mark Agnew has grown up an out-an-out outdoorsman. His father was an explorer in the 1960s and 70s, mapping Greenland and South America, and would take him mountain climbing or ocean kayaking as young as seven years old.
Agnew has gone on to make outdoor sports a central part of his life. In fact, he is extreme sports editor for the South China Morning Post.
Agnew took part in two Atlantic crossing attempts, in 2016 and 2018, and kept his head cool when storms and unseaworthy boats proved a dangerous mix.
It has always been his ambition to be the first to row the Northwest Passage, joining his childhood heroes by writing his name in history.
Philip Norton is another of the invaluable medics on board. At 24, he is one of the youngest on board, but his training as an EMT and nurse give confidence to all around him. Not only will having his medical expertise at hand be practically important, but it will lift the mental burden of worrying about cuts and bruises, knowing that Philip is nearby to help.
Philip is native to Ireland and has always had a taste for the outdoors. You will find him hiking, running and long-distance ocean swimming.
The team is hoping his ability to long-distance ocean swim is not put to the test in the waters of the Arctic.
The cold water associated with his long-distance swimming is a useful preparation in more ways than one. It gives control over his fight or flight syndrome, as his body adjusts to the temperature. A useful skill in the polar regions.
Allan Huntly, a 52 year old retired firefighter, runs a plumbing and heating business. He is married with two daughters and has a very understanding wife.
The quiet honest life of a small business owner and father bellies his adventurist spirit and achievements. Huntly was part of Kites record breaking crew, that rowed across the Atlantic in 42 days 10 hours, the fastest mixed team in history.
He is a lifelong motorcyclist, has ridden round Australia and toured extensively through Europe now taking part in motorcycle enduro.
Flying hang gliders and microlights since his early twenties, he has flown extensively around the world. The team is hoping his understanding of wind will pay dividends when the the mercury plummets in the Northwest Passage.
It's not too late to become a member of our NWP crew. If you are interested and want to hear more then please contact us.
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