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Observations placeholder

George Randell and Oli Glanville - We faced storms, hallucinations and loss of cutlery



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 2


A description of the experience

Oardinary Boys: ‘We faced storms, hallucinations and loss of cutlery’
10th February 2018 Howard Smith 0 Comments

Two friends have become the youngest pair to row the Atlantic Ocean and have raised  £50,000 for charity.
Oli Glanville and George Randell were among the competitors in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and completed the epic 3,000-mile row from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua on January 20 at exactly 10.01pm – 37 days, nine hours and 46 minutes after starting out.

The duo – who called themselves the Oardinary Boys – were the 10th crew to finish the race and were the second pair, finishing just under two hours behind another duo who broke the world record.

The pair rowed for two hours with the other resting on an almost non-stop rotation and completed the challenge faster than anticipated. They expected to be at sea for between 40 and 60 days.

Oli, who lives in Vauxhall, took on the challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, while George, who lives in Dulwich, was fundraising for Against Malaria Foundation.

The challenge put the friendship of the pair, who have known each other since they were 10 to the test.

Oli, 22 said: “It was really tough. We faced huge storms, hallucinations, a capsize and the frankly devastating loss of all our cutlery. But, we also saw whales, dolphins, flying fish and lots of amazing birds – and bizarrely a squid flew into George’s face too. Weird things happen at sea.

“We’ve spent more than five weeks in a 24-foot boat, with habitable space of a 10-foot rowing deck/bathing salon and a cabin/sauna with just enough space inside to sleep.

Thirty-seven days of eating freeze-dried food. Thirty-seven days of just each other’s company, terrible chat, and a lot of time alone with your thoughts.

“We finished the challenge even better friends and we did better than we thought we would – it all feels very surreal. It was fantastic to arrive in Antigua and see our family and friends.”

George, who celebrated his 23rd birthday at sea, said: “The one thing pushing us on each stroke of the way was the growing charity total.

“It gave meaning to our madness and the motivation to keep going even when we felt like our bodies were giving up.”

Oli was inspired to raise money for the UK’s leading dementia research charity after seeing both his grandparents on his dad’s side deteriorate and pass away with Alzheimer’s disease.

The challenge was particularly poignant for Oli as his grandfather, John Glanville, was an
accomplished sailor and Oli often went out on the water with him on visits to his grandparents’ home in Emsworth on the South Coast.

Tim Parry, director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are in awe of Oli and George for completing this amazing challenge. We were avidly following their progress throughout and are delighted they finished the race in such a remarkably quick time.

“There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and Oli’s story shows the devastating effect dementia can have on a family. The vital funds raised will power world-class research projects and help bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps