The Mission Statement

"I believe humans have a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine" - Neil Armstrong

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On December 14, 2016, we will compete in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

32º North stands committed to ride the seas, to challenge themselves and to inspire those around them to do the same. This race isn’t just a challenge to be the fastest, the strongest and most capable boat across the Atlantic Ocean. For us, two brothers hailing from the United States, this race is a challenge for everyone who has followed a dream, a challenge to give back and help provide an opportunity for others to follow theirs.

No amount of preparation, skill or training will give us everything we will need to be successful. There is no secret formula. On December 14, 2016, our world will shift from the 8-million strong New York City to a 24-foot boat in the middle of the 3,000 mile wide Atlantic Ocean. Oars in hand, coordinates set to 17°N 61°W, we will row 2 hours on, 2 hours off, 24 hours a day until we arrive at Nelson's Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda - 2 1/2 months later.

Everything we need – we will have to take.

Every mile we row – we will have to pull.

Every challenge we have – we will have to overcome. 

The challenge starts now.


Meet the Brothers


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Kurt schwartz

WHO AM I

28 years old. 6’4”. 190lbs

WHERE

I was born in El Paso, Texas, grew up in San Diego, California, and now live and work in New York City.

WHY

I hear the weather in New York will be rubbish for the first quarter of the year.

Because I want to do something far beyond just myself and give back what I am more than fortunate to have.

Just because we turn into professionals doesn't mean we have to give up the personal.

HOW

Although, the extra benefits of rowing an ocean are extended periods of undernourishment, epic suntans, and blisters on the bum.  Although this may have begun as a selfish endeavor, very quickly I realized the support around me. No longer is this mine or my brother’s adventure, but our collective sister, parent's, girlfriend's, family's, and friend's goal. We row for them.

THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME

Family, Friends, Learning, Space, Adventure, San Diego Chargers

EDUCATION

B.S. Physics : Baylor University - Waco, TX

MBA : New York University - New York, NY

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John Schwartz

WHO AM I

32 years old. 6’0”. 180lbs

WHERE

Texas - California - New York City. Some call it America.

WHY

Because experiencing the world second hand isn’t enough.

Because ‘if’ never sounds as good as ‘when'. 

Because life will always march forward -- you have to do what it takes to hold on and enjoy the ride.

HOW

No question...this will be tough. The support of family, friends, girlfriends and strangers will be 100% vital to our success -- we can't thank you enough. Rowing the Atlantic is but a fraction (so I say now...) of what it will take to get across. We've worked hard to get here...and we're looking forward to one hell of a ride.

THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME

Family and friends, hard work and perseverance, Friday's 5 o'clock beer, a good book or a terrible movie. Above all...a ridiculously impossible challenge

EDUCATION

B.S. Accounting, Economics : Lehigh University - Bethlehem, PA


The 32° North Team

The Samfund Not only is The Samfund the charity we row for, they have been incredible in spreading the word about the race and our mission. From getting us onto video and in magazines, we truly would not be where we are today without their help.

The Samfund

Not only is The Samfund the charity we row for, they have been incredible in spreading the word about the race and our mission. From getting us onto video and in magazines, we truly would not be where we are today without their help.

Samantha Einstein Watson CEO of The Samfund, Sam is a two-time young adult cancer survivor. Diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in April of 2001, she co-founded The Samfund in 2003 recognizing a void in programs and services tailored specifically for young adults cancer survivors. She's been nothing but a true champion for 32° North and friend to us. 

Samantha Einstein Watson

CEO of The Samfund, Sam is a two-time young adult cancer survivor. Diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in April of 2001, she co-founded The Samfund in 2003 recognizing a void in programs and services tailored specifically for young adults cancer survivors. She's been nothing but a true champion for 32° North and friend to us. 

Randy Hagans Alanen Cousin to John and Kurt, Randy has created every logo, poster, business card, sticker, shirt, and hat in every hope to make us a little more cool than we are. Countless hours behind her computer she's created the 32° North brand.

Randy Hagans Alanen

Cousin to John and Kurt, Randy has created every logo, poster, business card, sticker, shirt, and hat in every hope to make us a little more cool than we are. Countless hours behind her computer she's created the 32° North brand.

 
Amy Laviolette Following our initial failures at all things social media, Amy (Kurt's girlfriend) took the reins and never looked back. If our face is out there getting likes, it most likely had to do with her.

Amy Laviolette

Following our initial failures at all things social media, Amy (Kurt's girlfriend) took the reins and never looked back. If our face is out there getting likes, it most likely had to do with her.

Sonya Baumstein CEO and Co-founder of Spindrift, Sonya (pronounced S-ah-nya) built our trans-Atlantic chariot, the "Bonny Rey", in Townsend, WA.

Sonya Baumstein

CEO and Co-founder of Spindrift, Sonya (pronounced S-ah-nya) built our trans-Atlantic chariot, the "Bonny Rey", in Townsend, WA.

Jesse Irizarry We learned how to squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press, and anything else you can imagine using a barbell from Jesse, who owns a kick-ass gym, JDI Strength, in LIC.  

Jesse Irizarry

We learned how to squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press, and anything else you can imagine using a barbell from Jesse, who owns a kick-ass gym, JDI Strength, in LIC.  

 
Kristen Schwartz Kristen is not only the most amazing sister, she is also our liaison while we are on the water. She's responsible for keeping the gears churning so we can concentrate on rowing.

Kristen Schwartz

Kristen is not only the most amazing sister, she is also our liaison while we are on the water. She's responsible for keeping the gears churning so we can concentrate on rowing.

 
Dr. Clay Pennington Dr. Pennington is the team doctor and will be checking in on us during out 2 month voyage across the Atlantic. 

Dr. Clay Pennington

Dr. Pennington is the team doctor and will be checking in on us during out 2 month voyage across the Atlantic. 

 

The Race

talisker whisky atlantic challenge

The world's toughest row

The premier event in ocean rowing – A challenge that will take us almost 3,000 miles (2,600 nm.) west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (17oN 61oW). The annual race begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world. The race structure brings together an environment where teams from across the globe gather in the race village San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands. The atmosphere is electric as people help each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. All with the same objective – to take on the unique experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat. The party atmosphere creates strong friendships and competiveness gives way to camaraderie that will continue throughout the event.

But down to the serious business of rowing an ocean. From the sunsets and sunrises to the wildlife that will be encountered first hand – the race offers different experiences to all those involved. Boats are seven meters long and just under two metres wide, with only a small cabin for protection against storms. All boats are equipped at the race start, and cannot take any repair, help or food and water during the crossing. There is a constant battle of sleep deprivation, salt sores and the physical extremes that the row will inflict. Once the safe haven and party atmosphere of port is left behind – we are left with our own thoughts, an expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side. It’s now our World. A basic existence leaving behind the memories and smells of land and dealing with the emotions of leaving loved ones behind. The focus changes to us, watch systems and knowing everything there is to know about our rowing boat.

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