Meet Your Team & Crew
Expedition Leader & Skipper
Leven Brown is one of the most experienced and highly regarded ocean rowing skippers in the world. If you want to break records, get great tested kit or get advice – he is the man to do it with!
Leven is RYA MCA Yachtmasters Ocean qualified, with hands on knowledge of navigation, planning ocean passages, meteorology, crew management, yacht and ocean rowing boat preparation, maintenance and repairs. 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 rowers and myself rowed a traditional Ness Yoal from Shetland to the Faroes covering the 200 mile in approximately 45 hours, this is where I started to get an itch. In 2014 I was one of the founding members of Orkney Rowing Club which I am still heavily involved with and love the continued development of the club and rowers. In 2016 I organized an around Orkney Row (Mainland) for ORC members to take part in which saw 42 members getting the chance to row in more open water and through the hours of darkness and some very strong tidal streams. Both the afore mentioned rows were carried out to raise money for local charities.
In 2016 I took part in a programme for the BBC, this was called Neolithic Orkney 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 cow hide, this proved very successful making a crossing of the Pentland Firth in just under 5 hours
Over the last 30 years Phil 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, the voice of UK manufacturing.
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.
With the support of North East businesses, colleges and universities, Team Tyne Innovation transformed their Ocean going rowing boat into a living exhibit, showcasing pioneering North East products and services.
Despite facing extreme weather conditions and intense physical challenges in January 2019 Team Tyne Innovation crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 42 days 10 hours and 26 minutes, a new world record time for a mixed four.
Phil is now a business mentor in the North East, supporting other businesses and their leaders.
Jack has 8 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.
His most recent expedition was an Atlantic crossing in 2018-19 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.
Allan Huntly 52 retired firefighter now runs a plumbing and heating business. Married with 2 daughters and a very understanding wife.
Rowed across the Atlantic in a mixed crew of four in a world record time of 42 days 10 hours.
Interests include lifelong motorcyclist, having ridden round Australia and toured extensively through Europe now taking part in motorcycle enduro.
Flying hang gliders and microlights since his early twenties has flown extensively around the world.
I’m Kenneth Valles and I am an alpinist, author, and researcher from the United States. Born and raised in the wilderness of Colorado, I began climbing at a young age, amassing experience across a variety of mountaineering disciplines, including wilderness medical response. Over the following two decades I had the chance to lead numerous mountaineering expeditions on six continents, summiting peaks in many of the planet’s great ranges including the Andes, the Himalayas, and the Canadian Rockies.
Professionally, I have spent most of my career focused on global humanitarian efforts. Early work with international social and medical development projects led to an interest in humanitarian response and under-resourced medicine, a natural fit that benefitted from my experience and training in wilderness medicine and search and rescue. Currently, I am undergoing my doctoral training in medicine (M.D.) and biomedical science (Ph.D.) at the Mayo Clinic and my masters-level training in public and humanitarian health (M.P.H.) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
I am a 26-year-old South African currently working as a paramedic on the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
I grew up in the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana where I learned to love nature and the outdoors.
I developed a liking for endurance sports in my late teens and was part of a 4-person team which attempted to cross the Okavango Delta by foot.
I love travelling and have had some amazing experiences including sailing, climbing and skydiving in California and peddling a bicycle around the Somme Battlefields in France.
Obtained my Bachelor’s degree in emergency medical care in Cape Town. Now balance my time between working, paragliding, running and rowing training. I have a big interest in expedition medicine.
Ocean Rower / GP
I’m a general practitioner from South Africa with a interest in emergency medicine and family practice. I’ve also been trying to get into the expedition medicine for the last while. When I saw the add for NWP2021 on one of the adventure sites I immediately applied not knowing what I’m getting myself into. Finally I was accepted and I’m now training to become a ocean rower.
I guess the most important part of becoming an expedition doctor is to have experience with the expedition part. This is one of the main reasons I signed up for this and also to meet new friends, see untouched creation and challenge myself.
Ultimately I want to use my experience and skills to become a missionary doctor in remote and austere places.
In the past 20 plus years most of my free time was consumed by rugby. I would’ve loved to play professionally but injuries over the years have taken its toll. Other hobbies include kayaking, mountain climbing, cycling and music. I’m an adrenaline junkie with a love for any outdoor activity, especially with a bunch of friends.
I’m a jack of all trades and master of some. Ocean rowing is one of the things I haven’t mastered yet, but I hope to learn from all the experience on the team
Robert Andrew Strachan
Robert is a 39 year old personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach based in Aberdeen, Scotland. He has worked in the fitness industry for nearly 15 years and has experience rowing on and off the water for over a decade. He currently rows at Aberdeen Boat Club. He is one of the only people to have unsuccessfully taken part in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge, attempting it in 2015/16, but he certainly has some interesting tales to tell from that experience.
He has a taste for adventure and the extreme, which began in 2013 when he initially signed up for the TWAC race. Most recently he completed a trek to Everest Base Camp which inspired him to want to go to the lowest and highest points in the world, however when the chance to do something completely unprecedented
came along and Leven Brown invited him on board the NWP crew he, quite literally, jumped at the chance.
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 in the 2003 Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Challenge.
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.
Leading the race at one point, they battled the elements of the sun, gale-force winds, high seas, and sharks. After 43 days, 14 hours and 17 minutes on the ocean, the team rowed into Port St. Charles, Barbados on 01 December 2003 to a rapturous reception from proud Barbadians who had followed their epic journey. Als and Valdez placed third (3rd ) in the race out of sixteen (16) teams.
The Early Years
Als represented Barbados from 1984 in windsurfing before going professional in Europe, USA and the Caribbean. He also coached the Barbados Windsurfing team for the 2000 Sidney Olympics. Upon his return he and his Barbadian teammates were the IPSC Caribbean Pistol champions earning him a gold medal.
With his competitive nature, Philip set out to prepare for the 2003 Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race from La Gomera to Port St. Charles, Barbados. Fast forward to today and that same driving spirit is set to see Als take on the greatest challenge of his sporting career, to join the expedition to row the Northwest passage.
Phil is the proud father of five children and an avid cook.
Advanced expedition class boat technology, 30,000 + nautical miles of experience & achievement.
A real test of Human Endurance & Endeavour whilst recording & documenting the environment and climate.
A battle against Time, Temperature, Weather & Wildlife. A battle to break through the ice in the beginning, once the ice is broken up and gone, the battle is against time to get through before the ice comes back.
The boat is what we are calling “the LB expedition class hull” made out of carbon Kevlar rather than just carbon, Kevlar is abrasive (they use it in bullet proof vests) the skins of the boat are thicker, for impact resistance and the 2nd is insulation.
We’re utilising methanol fuel cell technology which is very environmentally friendly, the co2 that’s given off by a fuel cell is the equivalent of an infant!
Starting at Pond Inlet (Nunavut) on Baffin Bay and finishing at Kaktovik (Alaska) on the Arctic Ocean.
Coined The LB Expedition Class Ocean Rowing Boat, their design has evolved from the pen of Ruairi Grimes, of Aston Martin boat fame, and the experiences of Leven Brown.
No other Ocean Row Expedition has been successful in attempting to complete the full North West Passage in a rowing boat.
The temperature should orbit -5C to + 10C during almost constant daylight. The winds are predominately northerly.
Our aim is to have NO environmental impact & to use the Expedition as a fact-finding mission to uncover the truth of what’s happening in the Arctic.
This expedition pushes the boundaries of Human Endurance, all the while raising awareness of environmental concerns.