Blog | World record attempt to row across the Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean Row2

This weekend two fellow Scouting members and adventurers Ashley Wilson and James Ketchell will begin a 3600 mile row across the Indian Ocean. Starting off in Geraldton in Western Australia, their impressive (and hopefully record-breaking) feat will take them all the way to Port Louis in Mauritius.  

As if the many miles and unpredictable weather conditions weren't enough of a challenge, Ashley is severly epileptic, meaning that the pair have another unpredictable element to contend with.  

The Indian Ocean happens to be one of the least rowed oceans in the entire world and there have only been 41 recorded attempts to row across it. Less than half of those attempts were successful and only four of them were completed by pairs. 

Will Ashley and James succeed? We're following their epic adventure and keeping you up to date with what's happening. As their departure date has already been posponed due to severe weather forecasts as a result of a cyclone, we've had a chat to Ashley about the challenge ahead.

What are you looking forward to the most about your epic row?

For me it will be a couple of things, being in the middle of the ocean with no light pollution and being able to see every single star; and also all of the wildlife we will hopefully come across.

Indian Ocean Row

How have you both prepared for what to do if you have an epileptic seizure? Are you nervous about what could happen?

James has been on specific epilepsy training so he knows how to deal with my seizures and how to give emergency medication if it was needed. I have also packed all of my normal medication for the trip.
 So no, I'm not nervous as far as my epilepsy goes.

For me, having a seizure on the boat will not be much different to at home, it will just have different dangers. There are plenty at home that I have to think about every day such as the kettle, stairs, bath and busy roads, so it's just different things to think about.


What advice would you give to other people that have epilepsy and are considering a major challenge like yours?

Go for it, but make sure that you're safe. We have been planning for 3 years to make this happen. Yes 'nothings impossible' [that's the name of their website] but we have had to do a lot of thinking to make it happen.


What do you think will be the biggest challenge of this experience?

For me probably not what you may think. It will definitely be being away from my partner and three children for three months.

 Indian Ocean Row3

The current world record stands at 85 days 2 hours and 5 minutes, are you confident that you two can beat this time?

Yes I think so, we have everything in place to give us that chance, but do you know what, as long as we get across safely I will be happy.


Keep your eyes peeled for more photos, videos and updates on Ashley and James' incredbile adventure on our blog. Make sure you donate at

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