The Crew


Hailing from the Isle of Wight, the Mermaid Atlantic crew all share an ocean connection through shared interests and their love for the environment.

Island life is perfect for Xav as he lives life one adventure at a time. And although well versed in water sports, from surfing to sailing, rowing presents itself as a new challenge. With his teammates having the same idea, the decision to row the Atlantic was a surprisingly easy one.

By day Xav is a director of the Isle of Wight Distillery, a trade where no day is the same and dull moments are in short supply, which suits him just fine, as he likes to live life through laughter. For him, the row means experiencing the true vastness of the ocean and completing another personal mission.

Calm natured, focused and driven, Xav likes to be around similar minded people with positive outlooks and to make the most of life. The environment plays a large part in life and he’s dedicated to protecting his surroundings to ensure it’s survival.

Paul is a serving Firefighter and ex-Naval Petty Officer who has been rowing since childhood. It’s his knowledge and experience which will inform the most efficient plan for the big event, whether that’s regarding issues in the boat or the weather, as well as teaching the others how to row, a world which is very new to them.

A driven and ambitious individual, Paul enjoys working in a team, using his positivity to motivate others, although he has confessed to having ‘hangry’ tendencies! Paul has chosen this challenge as it is a true test of character because mental and physical strength is needed, but also requires the right attitude to make good decisions in the wild environment.

His love for the sea ignited an interest in navigation and meteorology, both of which could become essential skills during the row. However, surfing and diving provide escapism from daily life and just happen to be how he met Xavier and Chris respectively.

As the owner of a surf school on the Island, Chris, or Manni as he’s also known, is more often found in the water than not. Rowing, however, isn’t part of his usual arsenal, but he’s quite sure as long as he keeps feeding Paul, he won’t have too many issues.

The Atlantic challenge will provide him with focus and he hopes that his achievement will inspire his family to believe that anything is possible. As the row takes place over Christmas, he’s sure to miss them, however, the kids are excited by the Caribbean holiday to welcome him over the line.

Manni often works with young people who struggle with their mental health, something he is passionate about due to his own experiences, which affect him daily. As the row will be quite mentally demanding, he hopes to find confidence in speaking about it openly with a new outlook on life to support others in similar situations.

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