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Monkey Fist sets sail on extreme endurance challenge

Sep 8 2021
By Rob Fletcher
Category Feature

Monkey Fist Adventures teamed up with UK-based Globe Print on a special project that saw a boat decorated with graphics for an extreme ocean endurance challenge that lasted more than 50 days.

The challenge, dubbed the ‘Atlantic Dash’, saw a four-man team row, non-stop, for 3,200 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to the island of Antigua in the Caribbean.

Skipper Billy Taylor and his crew of Johnny Ward, Matthew Pritchard and Martin Heseltine took a total of 50 days, five hours and 12 minutes to complete the challenge, raising more than £8,000 for charity in the process.
While the task of crossing the Atlantic Ocean was tough enough for the Monkey Fist team, there was also the challenge of decorating the boat with material that would be able to withstand the test of the harsh ocean environment.
Globe Print was tasked with producing the graphics and opted to work with Drytac's Polar Grip Matte film, printing the graphics onto the material using its Roland SolJet EJ-640 large-format printer. Polar Grip Matte was then paired with Interlam Pro Emerytex overlaminate to offer additional protection.
The graphics featured the names and brands of the sponsors that supported the event and were applied to the boat in Lanzarote prior to the team setting off on their journey. The team departed the Canary Island in early March this year and did not make land in Antigua until 1 May.

Barry Hayes, director of Monkey Fist Adventures, said the company has worked with Globe Print and Drytac on a number of other extreme challenges, and was pleased to partner with the printer again for the latest expedition.
“We've used other companies in the past, but on previous crossing we went to Globe Print, and apart from just being all round nice people, the Drytac products supplied were far superior to anything we'd ever used before,” Hayes said.
“Oceans are harsh on everything, but our sponsors - and their logos - remained solid and steadfast for the entirety of both the Atlantic Dash crossings. The Globe Print team went above and beyond to produce the printed graphics exceedingly quickly - as they knew we had very tight timeframes.”
The idea behind the Atlantic Dash challenge was to not only raise funds for charity, but also help restore some sort of normality after Covid-19.
Alex Mason, co-founder of Monkey Fist Adventures, had not seen her mother in more than a year due to the pandemic, while Billy Taylor, another co-founder who headed the Atlantic Dash as skipper, had to endure his partner contracting Covid-19 while working for the NHS.
Hayes also said that he suffered with mental health issues during the pandemic but was able to access the right support. He said he hoped the challenge would encourage more people to talk about their own mental health and reach out for help.
“After having to go through so many challenges and tough times over the past 12 months, we wanted to get back to doing what we do best, so we created an ocean row to try and reset the balance - and the Atlantic Dash was born,” Hayes said.
“However, the major goal of the Atlantic Dash was to get people talking about their mental health and it absolutely worked!”
Funds raised from the challenge were split between HUMEN, a movement to improve and maintain men's mental health; and Dean Farm Trust, an organisation committed to working for a sustainable, healthy and cruelty-free planet.

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