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10th December 2019

Satcom Global to connect Atlantic Dream duo in bid for rowing record!

Satcom Global is delighted to be supporting two Tyneside-based adventurers as they take on the ‘world’s toughest row,’ sailing 3000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua, in the 2019 Talisker Atlantic Challenge starting this week.

Firefighter Paul Hopkins and Communications Director Phil Pugh, aka Atlantic Dream, are hoping to break a world record in becoming the oldest team to row the Atlantic, at 55 and 65 years old; a truly life-affirming feat of physical and mental endurance.

Satcom Global is supporting the duo’s efforts by providing them with the crucial voice and data services required to communicate with safety teams, friends and family and other supporters whilst at sea. They will use Iridium Extreme 9575 satellite phones for making telephone calls as well as an Iridium GO! satellite hotspot, loaned by Satcom Global, to send and receive SMS, email and images throughout the race.

Atlantic Dream are taking on the challenge to raise money for charities close to their hearts including the Tiny Lives children’s charity who helped support Phil’s son when he was born prematurely, and the Fire Fighters charity who support sick and injured, acting and retired servicemen. 

As well as supporting the charities, they are working closely with Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, where students are undertaking a project focused on the pair’s Atlantic challenge exploring a variety of topics such as green energy and mental health.  Using their satellite phones, Phil and Paul will be calling the schools’ assemblies live from the Atlantic, to talk to pupils and answer their questions about their epic journey.

The pair have opted to participate in the race using a more traditional wooden rowing vessel, rather than a lighter, more aero dynamic fiber glass model, giving them even more of a challenge.  In the run up to challenge, the team have invited friends and supporters to sign their boat, Dream It Do It, with messages of encouragement that they can take with them on their journey. Satcom Global took part in signing the boat as a show of support on Monday 21st October, with just over two months to go before the start of the challenge.

The race begins on 12th December 2019 and will see 36 teams of mixed sizes battle sleep deprivation, sickness and salt sores as they row seas of a 5-mile depth and surf waves of over 20 foot. No outside assistance is permitted throughout the race, with each team carrying all necessary food, cooking gas, medical kit, communications devices and safety equipment for the entire crossing – which based on last year’s times could take anything from 34 to 76 days!

Everyone at Satcom Global would like to wish Paul and Phil the very best of luck for a safe and speedy crossing. We will be following and sharing their progress through their challenge on our website and social media pages. If you’d like to make a donation to their charities, please visit their website:

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