Myeloma patient takes on the world’s toughest rowing challenge for Myeloma UK

A myeloma patient from Shropshire is taking on the world's toughest rowing challenge in aid of Myeloma UK.

Fundraising news // 29th June 2018

Ian Davies, a 58-year-old former serviceman from Shropshire has always been one for challenges for charity. In 2009 he drove a one-litre car to Mongolia and in 2013 he swam the Solent. Then just one week after swimming the English Channel in 2014 he was diagnosed with myeloma.

Ian said, “I received 18 months of treatment and had a transplant on my 55th birthday. Fortunately, I am now in remission. At the end of 2015 it was time to prove to myself that I was still capable of regaining my fitness and raising funds for people less fortunate than myself, so I entered the DART10, an endurance swim down the River Dart from Totnes to Dittisham”.

Having completed that, I decided a long-term challenge was the way forward to raise significant monies for some great charities. So how about rowing the Atlantic?!”

Ian Davies and the Atlantic mavericks

Now Ian and three ex-army friends known as The Atlantic Mavericks are preparing for The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. This premier event in ocean rowing takes competitors more than 3,000 miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda. Not for nothing is it known as “the world’s toughest row”.

The epic race begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world. All with the same objective – to take on the unique experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat and to raise money for charities.

As an ex-Warrant Officer in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, he put together his Atlantic Mavericks from the ranks of fellow ex-servicemen.

“It takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation,” admits Ian, “It’s no surprise then that more people have been into space or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic!”

Being retired servicemen we are thankful that we have had full and rewarding careers. We have been lucky and made good transitions from military to civilian life, but this is not the case for everyone. We therefore want to support our charities in helping those who have been less fortunate, and we want to support Myeloma UK in their great work combating this rare and incurable blood cancer.”

To find out more about The Atlantic Challenge or to sponsor Ian and his team, go to