A STORM ADVENTURES EXPEDITION
See our journey across the atlantic in 2018
Rune and Stian will set out from Battery park on Manhattan, New York, in May 2018. This will be 122 years after Georg Harbo and Gabriel Samuelson set off over the Atlantic, and became the first to row across under their own strength only.
When we cast off in 2018 our journey to achieve three major goals start:
1 - The History:
"We want to bring Harbo and Samuelsen`s amazing accomplishment to life through our expedition and TV series for NRK"
For most people Harbo and Samuelsen's great achievement is still unknown. They were the first people to row across the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to Isles of Scilly, in an open 18-foot clinker-built oak rowing boat. Their dangerous and arduous journey almost killed them, when their boat capsized in extreme weather, losing all their supplies. Their prospects looked doomed. But by sheer luck Harbo and Samuelsen met a Norwegian schooner, the "Viking", which helped resupply them, and they could continue their journey.
2 - The Record:
"We aim to beat Harbo and Samuelsen’s 55 day record for the crossing from New York to the Isles of Scilly"
Incredibly Harbo and Samuelsen’s 120-year-old record still stands today. On the 1st August 1896 they arrived in St. Mary on The Isles of Scilly, after a grueling 55 days at sea. Although several two-man teams have tried to break their record over the following years, not one has yet succeeded. We aim set the new world record.
3 - The Distance:
"We plan to increase the distance rowed and become the first adventurers to row the between New York and Farsund, using our own muscle power alone"
At a distance of 6700 km or 3671 nautical miles, the journey between New York and Farsund in Norway has never been rowed before. We plan to break that record too. After our crossing between NYC and the Isles of Scilly, we’ll then continue through the English Channel, up the North Sea, across Skagerrak and finally crossing the finish line in Farsund. We plan to row the entire distance in just 80 days; covering about 80 to 100 km per day.
George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen
foto: Boken ATLANTERHAVSROERNE
The Forgotten Heroes
“At nine o'clock we heard a terrible big wave coming. We said among ourselves that it`s too big. With a bang it threw the boat around, as if the boat was a nutshell. We passed several feet under water, and when we finally got head above water again, we were both in the lee of the boat. And there we struggled in the raging sea and swam with full oil wear and rubber boots on” - The Atlantic Ocean
In 1896 two Norwegians set out on one of history's most dangerous and seemingly impossible journeys. George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen accomplished something that no one had done before. An incredible feat of endurance, survival and daring–do. A world record that still stands today. To row across the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
The two Norwegian American emigrants from Farsund and Sande, had settled in New Jersey, where they worked as fishermen along the coast.
Like too many “great” ideas, this one was hatched in a bar in New York. Working in the shellfish industry was seasonal and times were hard for Harbo and Samuelsen, in late 19th century New York. So over a pint or two an idea developed…“Let´s row to Europe!”
When they set off in their small wooden boat, on the 6th June 1896, from Battery Park several thousand people turned up to watch them disappear over the horizon. Amongst the crowd were some of the world's major newspapers, both the NY Times and The World covered the event.
The 18-foot boat, made of Oak and clad in Cedar, was called the "Fox", and was named after the millionaire Richard K. Fox, publisher of the The National Police Gazette. He promised the two men gold medals, prize money of $10,000 and a grand reception in Paris and if they managed to row all the way to Le Havre in France.
After 55 days on the high seas, through storms and gales, they arrived at the British Isles of Scilly and just two days later they rowed to victory across the English Channel to Le Havre.
Harbo and Samuelsen got their gold medals but the $10,000 prize money never materialized and they never got the recognition they so richly deserved. In Norway their story got some public and media attention but their heroic achievement, their incredible feat, was soon overshadowed by the explorer Fridtjof Nansen's return from the Arctic.
Read about us here: www.stormadventrures.no
Rune Malterud 38
Stian Aker 38
I can imagine nothing more liberating or captivating than to cross one of the world's biggest oceans in a 22-foot rowing boat, but why do challenges like this attract me?
My theory is that every experience shapes me, and within me lies a curiosity and search for new challenges. I constantly dream of what an “inland sailor” from Toten has the ability to achieve.
In 2009 Stain and I took part in a race to the South Pole. The race was the first since Scott and Amundsen in 1911. We both felt a great burden rested on our shoulders to maintain Norway's honor as a proud Polar nation. After 800 grueling km’s we crossed the finsh line in 1st place and won the inaugural South Pole race. The Daily Mail’s headline: "History repeated itself."
Much has happened to me since that victory in the South Pole. Today Stian and I run Storm Adventures, a company that specializes in helping TV production companies and expeditions in some of the world’s most extreme locations. Since its establishment in 2010, we have been responsible for route planning, logistics and safety for: 71° North, Beyond Boundaries, The Amazing Race, Monsen på Villspor and Dropped. We have guided and facilitated British productions, including BBC News teams, Deadly 60, Harry’s North Pole Heroes and Harry’s South Pole Heroes.
Non-TV work has also seen us cross the Greenland Icecap in 2012, where we celebrated each day's hike with coffee and cognac in our tent. And in more recent years we have done numerous other trips, expeditions and activities, but rowing across the Atlantic will undoubtedly be our biggest challenge yet!
My desire for adventure is about my desire to experience contrasts. The difference between rowing a small wooden boat across Mjøsa, the biggest lake in Norway, and crossing the Atlantic Ocean will be enormous. The often too short distance, between heaven and hell, as we battle our way across the Atlantic will be something to both relish and fear. Life aboard a small wooden rowing boat bobbing for over 70 days across one of the world’s biggest oceans will both challenge and liberate me. It’s to experience contrasts like these that I constantly want to keep challenging myself.
As childhood friends growing up in Bøverbru in Toten, Stian and I have always shared a longing for adventure, an ambition to achieve and a sense of excitement at what the world has to offer. And most of all we both share an unbreakable desire to break the North Atlantic Record.
All my life I’ve been entranced by the outdoors, by the world around us. And that fascination has grown within me as I’ve come to appreciate both the simplicity and extremes of outdoor living.
Through my years in the Norwegian Army and now through my work with Storm Adventures, the great outdoors has become my life. To me the contrasts found in nature make experiences even stronger. This is the closest I can get to an explanation of what drives me.
During my Army years I had some incredible experiences, but for me, the proudest moment, the biggest milestone in my career so far, has been setting up Storm Adventures with my childhood friend Rune Malterud. In 2010 my hobby became my job and a dream came true. This was the start of a journey that’s taken Rune and me around the world. We’ve experienced the jungles of Brazil, the mountains of the Himalayas and Patagonia, the African Savannah, the Greenland icecap and the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. I would argue that we have the best office in the world!
This journey’s also brought us plenty of publicity both in Norway and worldwide through the work we do for TV production companies but also for our own expeditions.
My spirit of adventure and my reverence for just what Harbo and Samuelsen achieved in 1896, is the biggest driving force behind my desire to follow in the footsteps of these great 2 heroes. Through our modern day expedition across the North Atlantic, I hope we can reinvigorate their incredible story and bring them the credit they deserve!
"Kampen om Sørpolen 2009", NRK1 - see all the episodes here