The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records

 


Bill Godfrey and Peter van Kets. South Africa

Team Gquma Challenger

The word Gquma, in a Xhosa (local language) word meaning the sound of a breaking wave or the roar of a lion

 

 

     

Bill Godfrey, 36 father of 2, organic self-sufficienist and on top of that top level athlete. Previously South African National squad and now looking for his next big challenge, the Atlantic Ocean.

Bill started rowing at the age of 12. At 5” 11’ and 72kg he regularly beat competitors much bigger than him. As his school coach said, “He has the biggest b***s in the sport and I would select him over any larger rower”. Bill rapidly made it into the top school crews.

 After leaving school he made it into the Leander (South Africa) top crew. He then left for cooler climes and joined London Rowing Club, competed at Henley and numerous other events. But South Africa beckoned and he returned to become part of the national squad and winning numerous top events. He still rows competitively and is still winning open events on a national level.

While he was doing all this he managed to get married, have 2 boys and buy a farm. He believes in organic farming and grows his own vegetables, fruit, eggs, chickens, mutton and beef.

When asked why the Atlantic calls he said that it was difficult to put into words but “Life without adventure would merely be existence.”

When not rowing, Bill has spent a lot of his time in and around the sea, surfing, diving, beachcombing etc. giving him the ideal background to make him a serious contender in a race across the ocean.

His commitment and dedication to the task is unwavering, and given the opportunity, he will do everything in his power to prove his worth

 

Peter van Kets, 40, (to his intense surprise and disbelief) adrenaline seeking adventurer par excellence is relatively new to rowing.

Peter has, however, spent the last 40 years either in or on the ocean in his capacity as diver, surfer, beachcomber, yachtsman and paddler. He is a certified yachtsmaster, highly competent navigator, has completed many ocean crossings as skipper and has competed in most major SA yachting events winning South African titles and Offshore Series.

His major sport is kayaking and surf ski racing and he has participated in countless races winning a silver medal at the SA Marathon Champs and enduring the grueling 255km P.E. to East London Surf Ski Challenge.

Peter is a qualified teacher and Adventure Instructor (certified to instruct in rock climbing, abseiling, adventure racing, white water kayaking etc) has organized a number of major sporting events in the Eastern Cape (including 5 SA Interschool and Corporate Adventure Races), owns and operates a paddling school known as 33’ South and now aspires to become a property magnate.

 With his 218th freefall parachute jump failing to produce more than a mild buzz of excitement and having overcome his prejudice against rowers (why don’t they look where they are going?) the Atlantic has become his new frontier.

The challenge presented by the race has completely captured his imagination and effectively harnessed his considerable energy.

There is no doubt that (with the help of a well padded seat) he has the physical and mental stamina, skill, and sheer insanity to help make him and Bill serious contenders in the race.