Meet Our Newest Ambassador: The OARburn Rower
Meet Kyle, a red-headed adventurer whose spirit is as vibrant as his African Sunset - or OARburn - hair. Redheads like Kyle make up only 1-2% of the global population, and as unique as his genetic makeup, Kyle is on an equally unique mission that goes beyond the horizon – a solo, non-stop and unsupported crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, from mainland Africa to mainland North America... Something that has never been done before!
Kyle's journey isn't just about conquering the vast ocean; it's a profound quest with a purpose. Did you know that redheads, due to a genetic variant in the Melanocortin-1 Receptor (MC1R), are 10 times more likely to develop skin cancer? Kyle's personal connection to this issue runs deep as in 2020, during the first national COVID-19 lockdown, Grandad Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma, a battle he tragically lost just two weeks later.
In honour of Grandad Michael, Kyle is undertaking a colossal challenge – an independent, solo, unsupported and non-stop 4000-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean. This extraordinary journey is not just about physical endurance; it's a mission to raise vital awareness for skin cancer and national education schemes, aiming to increase knowledge and early detection.
The numbers behind skin cancer are staggering – 15,400 new cases of Melanoma are diagnosed every year in the UK alone and Kyle's row is a symbolic push against these statistics, a call to action to prioritise early detection and professional support. If Kyle is able to row for between 12-18hrs per day for an estimated 4 months and demonstrate what he coins as, "sun-sensibility", then what excuse do we all have to not be doing the same?
Rowing across the Atlantic solo is a feat few have achieved; more people have been into space or have summited Everest than have rowed across this vast expanse of ocean alone... something he took great pleasure in telling Sir Tim Peak when they met last summer!
Beyond rowing, Kyle is a man of many passions – a licensed solo skydiver, an avid alpine skier, and a dedicated outdoor explorer, often accompanied by his two loyal canine companions (who seemingly aren't too keen on going with him). A seasoned runner, Kyle has participated in numerous half and full marathons, showcasing his commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing challenges head on.