Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jordan Hanssen Ocean Rower endorses Fox Sculpture

The 29-foot fiberglass Rowing Boat, James Robert Hanssen,
crossed the Atlantic Ocean on June 10th, 2006

Our (The Fox Sculpture Project) Project Director, Victor Samuelsen was recently out to Seattle, Washington where he met with Jordan Hanssen who captained the three man crew of the James Robert Hanssen.

Jordan named the boat for his father who died from an asthma attack when he was just three years old. The young Jordan also developed asthma but quickly set his mind to strengthening his lungs through exercise. As a four-time champion competition rower in the Northwest Conference Rowing Championship he decided to set the bar a little higher and row across the Atlantic Ocean.

His personal story reads a little like the story of George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, who were the first adventures to cross the Atlantic by oar in 1896. You see, at that time, in 1896, there was a competition award for anyone who would dare to pick-up the challenge to cross the Atlantic. It was $10,000. US and gold medals for the successful oarsmen.

Jordan Hanssen who heard about a transatlantic race much like George Harbo, was a bit of an instigator and began to talk to a former UPS team mate by the name of Brad Vickers. Just as George Harbo spoke to Frank Samuelsen, who was his fishing partner and friend. I'll make a bet that Brad received the idea a little like Frank Samuelsen did more than 110 years earlier.

'Are you really serious or simply insane?'

An article in a paper called the Arches, published in the Autumn of 2006 reports Vickers asked for a meeting and after 10 hours agreed to join on. (Tony Robbins are you reading this? You've got big competition if Jorden Hanssen goes into motivational speaking). Brad Vickers agreed, they added two more men, Greg Spooner and Dylan LeValley and carefully planned the voyage.

The Voyage of the Fox was also meticulously planned, this was part of it's success and certainly a significant part of Jordan's recent crossing. The young crew decided that they would also use the race to raise money for the American Lung Association (ALAW). Approximately half of the funds raised would go to ALAW. The boat and voyage itself cost about $300,000. US. each man borrowed $10,000. US for his stake against achieving their dream.

The four man crew made their goal of Falmouth, England in 71 days about 15 days behind the open wooden surf-boat Fox but they did achieve the fastest time in the race and I recently read they are planning another crossing.

On Victor Samuelsen's recent trip to Seattle he had the pleasure to go out rowing with Captain Hanssen, on the James Robert Hanssen, with his cousin Tom Samuelsen and his son Tor, a young teenager. This remarkable first-hand experience led to our knowledge of these determined young men who are proud to walk or shall we say row in the footsteps of George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen.

I hope you will take time visit our link: BronzeSea.org/JordanHanssen to read his supporting letter for The Fox Sculpture Project and connect with Jordan's web site.

Enjoy the Summer,
Cordially, Bill Osmundsen