If you haven’t already heard about Jack Jarvis aka UnitedWeConquer then where have you been?! Our man recently completed an astonishing 111 days rowing the Atlantic Ocean solo and unsupported, all in the name of charity. Our CEO, Christian, and PR Manager, Sam, took a trip over to the States. Here is a round-up of Jack Jarvis’ arrival in Sam’s words.
On Sunday 13th March we received a rough arrival date from Jack’s weather router, which effectively gave us a 7–10-day window to get prepared for our arrival in the states. This meant the week that followed mainly consisted of zoom calls with the US, meticulous planning, and a lot of late evenings. So much work had gone into Jack’s journey that we wanted to make it as perfect as possible.
Once everything was as set-in-tone as it could be (you must remember we were effectively at the mercy of the ocean) we completed our Covid tests and flew stateside on Monday 21st March. On the Tuesday we headed to Riviera Marina in West Palm Beach for a site recce and to meet all the fantastic people that helped make it all happen. Once Tuesday was done, we knew that Jack’s arrival was imminent and could be any one of the next three days – Jack’s incredible speed led to a frantic Wednesday to say the least. In short, it felt like we spent the majority of the day putting out fires and with reports of Jack’s arrival even further north we began travelling up the South Florida coast to meet him. However, the current didn’t play ball, so it meant and return to Miami for us, ready to go again the next day.
So, Thursday saw a 5:30am start as we made the 100+ mile drive north (once again), however, this time was a little different – we knew today was the day. Jack had put in such a shift the 24 hours before that he was able to anchor down near the inlet meaning he could make landfall the following day. After arriving at the destination, a couple of hours later and with anticipation building we managed to see Jack for the very first time, albeit through an incredible pair of binoculars! We now just found ourselves staring as his rowing boat got bigger and bigger as he neared the mainland, and it was not long after that when we witnessed history being made, as our man Jack finally stepped (a little wobbly) on land, 111 days after he departed from Portugal.
The British solider received an incredible welcome, initially from his family and then from dignitaries, including Captain Stephen Anderson of SOUTHCOM and her Majesty’s British Consul, Nicolette Brent, as well as some brilliant US media. After getting his passport stamped by US Customs and Border Protection Jack tucked into his first land meal – cheeseburger, fries, two chocolate milkshakes, a can of coke and a bottle of corona, and yes, you guessed it, he demolished the lot! After that we all very much enjoyed celebrating what is a fantastic achievement, the atmosphere was pretty special.
The next morning we had arranged an incredible surprise for Jack – a tour of Inter Miami’s training facilities and a chance to meet Phil Neville and his team. This was an amazing experience that was topped off by Jack being given his very own IM CF shirt with ‘Jarvis 59’ on his back, referencing his work in the army with 59 Commando. Not done on the sports front yet, we then decided if we were really going to complete Miami then we had to go and watch a Heat game so off we went. It was amazing to see how the US do sports and I definitely think we can learn a thing or two here in the UK.
Now that the weekend had arrived it was time to enjoy the rest of our trip and that’s exactly what we did, culminating in a celebration for Jack and his close friends of family. The perfect end to a great experience.