Meet us

Nick Rees

Nick is an ambitious hard-worker, a partner in a small, successful business and a family man.  He is motivated by the potential for big success.  Whilst at school, Nick was the driving force behind the national finalist Young Enterprise company ‘Dreaming Spires’. At university he ran one of the most popular student societies, and prior to graduating, completed an internship and secured a job at one of London’s most demanding investment banks, Goldman Sachs.

After five years at Goldman’s, Nick decided to take a risk and in 2004 became the third partner in a newly formed investment management company, Absolute Return Partners. Nick applied himself with flexibility and foresight, and over some difficult financial years, with tenacity, loyalty, and some calculated risk-taking – characteristics which have been integral to the Company’s success and growth.

Nick has walked a 100km race for The Gurkha Welfare Trust and Oxfam, and despite having hated running all his life, ran the London Marathon following Ellen’s illness, to raise £7,500 for a breast cancer charity.  When Nick is inspired he is capable of turning an idea into reality, of thinking big and delivering.

Underlying this whole event is Nick’s absolute dedication to his wife and two children.  The motivation they give him will certainly be the power behind his oars.

Ed Curtis

Ed’s amazing wife and two kids are his inspiration and it is their support which is enabling him to embark on this fantastic, bonkers, journey.

Ed was not a fan of school and at the tender age of 17 decided that voluntary work and a trip to the Arctic Circle would be much more fun. He spent six months assisting Prince’s Trust community projects for the environment and for people with disabilities, and two months sleeping in tents pitched on ice in the Arctic, compiling a reindeer census for the University of Tromso, Norway.

Ed came back to reality and completed a two year Sports Science Diploma, during which  he competed in a Pembrokeshire Longboat coxed-four team.  He moved to Bristol where a chance encounter with an old family friend re-introduced him to his real passion… sailing!  From this Ed’s career was born.

In early 2001 Ed moved to Plas Menai National Watersports Centre in North Wales to train as an instructor.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Ed is now a senior member of staff, training sailing and windsurfing instructors and senior instructors, and delivering technical courses in the classroom. Ed’s experience on the sea should stand the team in good stead for what is to come.  In his spare time Ed is also on his local school’s board of Governors.

Ed loves a challenge (the bigger the better!) and is always looking for new ways to torment his body. His latest hobby is swimming, both indoors and in open water.  So he will be taking part in a number of events this summer including the Great North Swim to start fundraising for Breakthrough.


Breakthrough Atlantic

The race is open to solo, pairs, and fours teams. The pairs class attracts the most entries, and the 24 foot(7m) long pairs boats are built to common “lines plan” to ensure commonality amongst the fleet. However, the choice of build materials is open, and every kilogram of weight saved means less effort to haul the boat through the water.


Our boat has been built by Rossiter Yachts in Christchurch, UK using carbon/kevlar composite construction.

The race rules stipulate certain minimum safety and communications equipment, and all of the teams will use the latest marine electronic systems including satellite tracking and communications.

Our electrical power will be generated by solar panels and our drinking water will be produced using a reverse osmosis water maker.

We will use freeze dried food to keep weight down, and with each of us using over 8,000 calories per day, it will be impossible for us to fully replenish the calories that we are burning.