Atlantic Row Sponsorship


Crew participation sponsorship sought

Interested in sponsoring my participation in this expedition?

Please contact me for a personal chat:

Simple online sponsorship JustGiving - Sponsor me now! Text donation code: SLAW68 How to text a donation

Basic information

The total cost of individual participation in this challenge is £20,000 for each crewmember, to include:

  • Crewing fees
  • Flights to/from entry/exit countries
  • Accommodation and subsistence costs while on land at either end
  • Communications expenses while aboard
  • Sustenance and specialist clothing while aboard

As a self-employed entrepreneur, I will be putting up £3,500 of the total costs. The rest I must raise externally in the form of individual and company sponsorships.

How you can help

There are many ways you can help me and the Avalon crew:

  • financial sponsorship
  • product/services sponsorship
  • charitable donations

In return for your support, we can offer any/all of the following:

  • Your logo on the hull of Avalon
  • Professionally written PR content for your website/blog/newsletter/social media campaign
  • Professional press release write-up and dissemination to relevant media
  • Press photos of the crew (including Skipper Leven Brown) wearing your logo
  • Stand-alone mention in an on-board blog and accompanying tweets during the expedition
  • A pre- and/or post-event talk for your employees/members
  • Bespoke editorial articles, tailored to your industry and highlighting your sponsorship of the expedition
  • Named sponsorship credit in the associated documentary film
  • Linked mentions on:
  • Crew cooperation in related and relevant research projects
  • Fundraising towards mental health causes


Unlike sponsorships, which will be used to pay for individual participation in the challenge and/or production of the supporting documentary, all monies specified as donations are VAT free and will be forwarded to Mind, a mental health charity. Donations will generally be anonymous.

Sponsorship packages

While we are happy to discuss your specific needs, here follows some examples of the level of sponsorship you might expect for various contributions:

Green Sponsor: £100 + VAT

  • Email newsletter expedition updates with access to “Over The Next Wave” general social media content
  • Permission to syndicate, and/or re-publish in its entirety, social media content (inc. video, images and copy) produced by Sarah Lawton under the banner “Over the Next Wave”
  • Linked sponsor mentions on:
    • Ocean Row Events Facebook page (1482 Likes)
    • My www.adventure-mum blog (>550 subscribers)
  • Association with our fundraising towards mental health causes

Blue Sponsor: £250 + VAT

  • All Green Sponsor privileges
  • A professional press release tailored to your company needs and disseminated to relevant local or global media (list produced using a professional media system; Vocus). This can link your company to:
    • the Guinness World Record attempt
    • scientific projects to improve analytical biosensor technologies in cooperation with Cranfield University and the University of Leicester
    • the UK governments Talking Therapies scheme and Time to Change campaign
    • charitable fundraising activities for Mind and Rethink Mental Illness
  • Your logo (linked to your website) on the Ocean Row Events sponsor page

Bronze Sponsor: £500 + VAT

  • All Blue Sponsor privileges
  • Press photos of the crew (including Skipper Leven Brown) standing in front of the boat and wearing your logo on a professionally printed T-shirt (to be paid for separately)
  • A professionally written, bespoke 800 word editorial article, tailored to your industry and highlighting your sponsorship of the expedition, for you to publish wherever you wish

Silver Sponsor: £1000 + VAT

  • All Bronze Sponsor privileges
  • Stand-alone mention in an on-board blog and accompanying tweets during the expedition
  • A pre- and/or post-event talk for your employees/members
  • Named sponsor credit in the associated documentary film

Gold Sponsor: £5000 + VAT

  • All Silver Sponsor privileges
  • Your logo on the hull of Avalon
  • Strategy and content for a month-long bespoke PR and marketing campaign produced in cooperation with your own marketing and sales teams. This must focus on your company’s sponsorship of the Atlantic Row but can include press releases, newsletter articles, editorial article production and placement, social media content across multiple platforms, photography, and potentially even video.

Science Sponsor: £TBA + VAT

  • Participation in scientific data collection
  • Data reporting
  • Cooperative PR efforts

Equipment/Resource Sponsor: Equipment/Resources to be used in preparation for or during the expedition

  • Product specific sponsor mentions and content provision as outlined above, equal to the value of the goods

Service Sponsor: Services to be used in preparation for or during the expedition

  • Service specific sponsor mentions and content provision as outlined above, equal to the value of the goods

Product/Service Sponsorships

Instead of money, how about providing goods and/or services to our expedition?

Here is a list of just some of the things each member of the crew will be looking for:

  • Pre-expedition support
    • gym membership
    • personal training
    • sports coaching
    • performance/health monitoring
    • home rowing equipment
    • physiotherapy/massage
  • On-land Expedition Support
    • Accomodation at departure/arrival sites
    • Meals at departure/arrival sites
  • On-Board Expedition equipment/resources
    • sports clothing
    • communications equipment
    • high energy dried foods
    • ration packs
    • wet wipes
    • medical kit
  • Press coverage/PR
  • Specialist camera work

About Corporate Donations and Sponsorships


Companies – but not sole traders or partnerships – that give money to charity can deduct the value as a ‘qualifying charitable donation’ from their Corporation Tax profit. Donations to charity by sole traders and partners may fall under Gift Aid scheme for individuals provided all the conditions of that scheme are met.


Sponsorship payments that a business makes in return for something from the charity are treated differently for tax purposes from simple donations. If a charity agrees to give your business something in return for the sponsorship payment(s), then the whole of the payment is considered a ‘taxable business supply’ for VAT purposes. This means that the charity may have to account for VAT on the money it gets.

Sponsorship is a way for businesses to obtain the commercial benefit of bringing their name, products or services to public attention. Sponsorship costs are subject to the ‘wholly and exclusively’ test as with any other expenditure. This means that if there is a non-business purpose to the sponsorship (even if there is also a business purpose) no allowance is due.

Generally, any payment your business makes to a charity in return for advertising and publicity is treated as a business expense if your company gets a reasonable return from the charity for its money. However, there are some situations when it may not be completely clear whether a payment you make to charity is:

  • a donation
  • a sponsorship payment that’s a business expense

Some payments can be a combination of the two.

For this reason, we are offering clearly defined opportunities to either donate to our associated charities and/or sponsor crew participation

Simple online sponsorship JustGiving - Sponsor me now! Text donation code: SLAW68 How to text a donation
1 Comment

Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Adventure, news, Ocean Rowing, Travel


Tags: , , ,

Expedition launch announcement: Atlantic Ocean Row 2014


At last, I’m ready to announce my next major expedition!

Over the Next Wave: Atlantic Ocean Row 2014

  • An Atlantic Row world record-breaking attempt
  • A documentary film to challenge mental health stigma and raise awareness of Talking Therapies
  • Science projects in association with Cranfield University and the University of Leicester
  • A sponsorship opportunity delivering professional marketing materials tailored to your company
  • An opportunity to inspire your employees to face personal challenge head on!

Follow me and the rest of the Avalon Atlantic 2014 ocean rowing crew as we face own personal mental and physical challenges throughout an attempted record-breaking row across the Atlantic. Read about the associate cutting-edge science project and charitable fundraising activities.

While extremely physical, ocean rowing is widely recognised as 90% mental challenge.

Conditions aboard will not be comfortable, far from it. Crammed into a small boat with eight other adults and exposed to salt water and potentially extreme weather, the crew is likely to suffer from sleep deprivation, slow starvation as their bodies struggle and fail to replace calories, trepidation and seasickness.

During the first week at sea an ocean rower’s body will go into a form of shock as it adjusts to the new environment and unrelenting nature of the duties. Each crew member will row for two hours, then have two hours off – with the ninth shift offering a glorious four hour sleep in between – for the entire journey, non-stop!

Once we start, wind and current will prevent us from turning back for any reason. There is no support boat, and only one life raft as a last resort.

 “There but for the grace of the trade wind, go you and I. None of us knows what lies over the next wave.” Sarah Lawton

My pledge

I, Sarah Lawton, 46-year-old entrepreneur, wife and mother, am taking on the Atlantic Ocean Row (Dec 2014) to:

  1. beat the 30 day barrier for rowing across the Atlantic
  2. break three current Guinness World Records
  3. carry out scientific data collection towards improving biosensor technologies
  4. raise awareness of Talking Therapies for mental wellness
  5. produce a documentary to challenge current stigma associated with mental illness

Never having set foot in a rowing boat prior to signing up for this challenge, I shall be sharing my story from the very beginning. With blogs covering an introduction to rowing at my local club, my first rowing lesson on The River Ouse, crew selection, sea trials with the rest of the crew, my on-going training and – all being well – on-board communications during the actual crossing.

The Crossing

A nine person crew will board Avalon, a 45 foot long, carbon purpose build four-position rowing boat and attempt the 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, from the Canary Islands to Barbados; the Trade Winds 2 route.

The expedition will be led by Skipper Levin Brown. With three times Guinness World record-breaking rows of the Atlantic under his belt, Leven is widely regarded as the world’s finest ocean rowing skipper and is renowned for having a knack for choosing the right people for his crew.

World Record Attempts

  1. The fastest crossing of the Atlantic on the trade winds 2 route
  2. A sub 30 day time – this is the 4 minute mile of ocean rowing
  3. The longest distance travelled in 24h record
  4. The most consecutive days rowing over 100 miles.
Simple online sponsorship JustGiving - Sponsor me now! Text donation code: SLAW68 How to text a donation



Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Adventure, Life, news, Ocean Rowing, Travel


Tags: , , , , ,

New elephants, new adventures!

There is certainly a lot to catch you all up on. I don’t know where to start! What I will do, for now, is list as much as I can here as a reminder to myself that I owe you at least a tale or two about these matters. That way, you can all hassle me a little to cover them as I move forward with my NEXT BIG ADVENTURE! Which is indeed a big one and may become a little distracting. However, there are some really great stories to tell from the past few years as well, so do remind me to let you in on the following:

  • The Great Indian Elephant Safari – a trip to the Manas National Park in Assam, India. A new company and an opportunity for any one of you to experience a similar sort of journey to the one I had in Nepal!
  • Canyons & Craters, Namibia 2013 – a six week expedition to the wilds of Damaraland in the Namibian desert. Me (Chief Science Leader), Sam McConnell (Expedition leader and desert guru), a bunch of adventure leaders and science leaders, 5 trainee leaders, and more than 50 16-19 year old Young Explorers (YEs)! Yes. Quite a tale that one.
  • Medieval Roundhouse Build, Arran 2012 – a beutiful island, an unusual conservation project, some scientific fieldwork and a climb up to the top of Goat Fell
  • Destination Cyprus – a week in Spring, some stunning walks, but a strangely lonesome experience in a large, luxury spa with no other guests but me!
  • Destination Barcelona – a fabulous long weekend away with my other half and a great reminder of how fun Europe can be
  • Destination Algero – exploiting the rediculously cheap flights on a new Ryanair flight path
  • Destination Brighton – the joys of a stolen weekend in good old Blighty
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


A new dawn, a new day

So, how do you restart a blog having dribbled to an embarassing halt half way through what you hoped would be a full story?

Er…. deep breath. With apologies… And….

“Take two!”

A new dawn, a new day, several expeditions and adventures later about which I have every intention of catching you all up on at some point! In the meantime, I shall reskin this site and begin buidling on what is already here to help promote my latest, greatest and slightly daftest expedition plans!


Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


Expedition Elephant chapter twenty six: Camaraderie and competition

The following morning was Thursday and Jack had encouraged some of us to get up at the crack of dawn to head up river and look for evidence of Rajim following the sighting made by Jack’s bird group. As the main group was planning to take the elephants for a bathe in the river later that morning after a late breakfast, this seemed like a good plan. Tessa and I therefore agreed to join Jack, Susanna, David D-W and Captain Sarah and Bhim was assigned to guide us.

Tessa’s log: Earthdate 19 April 2012

Temperatures: 06:00  24°C    14:00  38°C    19:00  31°C

06:30 Bhim, Jack, Tessa, David DW, Susannah, Sarah A, Sarah L – walk up river to try to find Rajim´s footprints and/or dung from yesterday. Footprints (20” = were found on other side of the river (by dint of wading across), but no dung.

The lure of camaraderie

I admit at this point that the idea of a long walk before breakfast would usually have been a difficult sell for me. However, I found that getting up was a lot easier in Nepal than at home. The attraction of waking up in a tent to the sounds of the forest and the warmth of the sun always made it easy to hop out of bed and embrace the world.

There was, of course, the added attraction of this particular group of individuals. How could I not be persuaded to join them? Jack was a lovable rogue, Sarah easily admirable and always good for a laugh, and of course Tessa, my best and most trustworthy buddy. Being generally quiet, yet surrounded by an air of growing contentment, Susannah remained deeply intriguing, and David D-W could draw images that looked like photographs using a pencil! My heart rose at the mere memory of his abilities and he carried himself with such charm. I was already a huge fan. Although his wife will be pleased to know that I was reserving my own natural flirtiness for both Jack and Sarah.

There is definitely something intoxicating about sharing such an emotionally explosive, extreme adventure with a relatively small group of people. In my opinion the bonds formed during a ‘work hard/play hard’ scenario of such intensity are some of the most cherished. These relationships may not last beyond the trip but at the time the people you find yourself waking with, walking with and working with, seem like the most fascinating you’ve ever met. Those who were strangers until you met at the hotel, quickly become like family. Which is just as well as you occasionally find yourself trusting them with your health, safety and well-being.

Placed in this type of situation I would be described as ‘gregarious’ and ‘transparent’. Which is a nice way of saying ‘gobby’ and a little flirtatious. My mother describes me as a social butterfly and my father hangs his head when forced to remember my antics as a young woman. When it comes to life, the universe and absolutely everything, my husband and sons know there is very little I’m not willing to talk about squarely, openly and in-depth.

This approach to life can appear somewhat brash to some. To others it can be anything from amusing to down-right embarrassing. Peter, a true gent from a generation expected to be seen and not heard, quietly revelled in the novelty of it. To young Jack and Sarah it was an invitation to be as open and honest in return. And herein lies the real benefit to transparency. The more open you are, the more other people will reveal of themselves to you. Under these circumstances certain types of people will reciprocate with bright-eyed joy in the freedom of it and there begins what will feel like a meeting of minds. Mutual appreciation will ultimately turn into mutual attraction. Pheromones go crazy. Chemistry flies. Married women find themselves having to have serious talks with themselves on a regular basis. Trust me, I’m an expert. Luckily it is this bit I like best. The really naughty stuff seems unnecessary in comparison. This is what is known as ‘love of the chase’. It saves many of us from being truly bad. Sadly however it does not prevent us from making complete and total idiots of ourselves occasionally… but that was all still to come.

So, when asked if I might join a walk along the river with some of my most precious new friends I jumped at the chance. I wanted to spend as much time with these people as I could. And I guess I was also a little interested in finding elephant footprints and even dung too.

Competitive by nature

We took a jeep as far as we could before going on foot, through the head-high grasses along the bank and down to the water. As a group we followed Bhim along the river’s edge. The pebbles under our feet threatening to twist our ankles with every step and the further we went the larger and looser they became.

We soon reached the area where Jack’s team had spotted the bull elephant the day before. We scouted around for some time but found nothing of interest. The terrain on this side of the river was not conducive to footprints and there were no signs of any elephant droppings. All we found was some rhino dung that looked at least a few weeks old.

Bhim suggested that the other side of the river would be a better bet and, leaving us sitting in the morning sun on the pebble beach, he began to wade across.

The river was fairly wide and the water rose to thigh height at its deepest. Bhim used his walking stick to keep his feet from being swept out from under him as he forded the middle section which ran fast. We all watched him as he crossed, shielding our eyes from the sun with our hands so we could keep up with his progress.

With time to contemplate, I gave myself another layer of suncream whilst listening to the quite conversations going on around me. Jack and Tessa had already begun to discuss the possibilities of their following in Bhim’s footsteps across the river. Captain Sarah and Susannah were chatting with David about life at home.

It wasn’t too long before Bhim had crossed the river. He was clearly used to carrying out such feats. Within minutes of him reaching the other side he had scouted the far bank and was yelling across at us that he had found both footprints and dung. That was all the incentive Jack and Tessa needed. They were off!

Tessa simply waded into the water in her shoes which were designed specifically for being able to do just that. Jack had to take his boots off, string them together and hang them round his neck. This set him several metres behind Tessa from the outset but his competitive streak was in full play and they were both clearly aiming to reach the other side first.

Sarah and I agreed that there was more than a little part in both of us that wished someone would fall in. I had my video camera at the ready. Sadly however they both reached the other side without incident and disappeared into the greenery beyond.

Behind the curtain

They were gone for some time. I began to worry about the time. We were going to be late back to camp. It also occurred to me as we all sat looking across the river that we were rather exposed. I turned and sat watching the forest behind us instead, just in case. Time ticked on. The conversation between my companions evolved. David was sharing details of his life. His story was deeply personal and deeply moving. Although he talked directly to Susannah, both Sarah and I listened intently.

It can be shocking to peek behind the curtain of someone else’s life. When we first meet someone we learn of the most obvious things about them first and can fall into making assumptions about their lifestyle. We tend to imagine others’ lives as more glamorous than our own. We fabricate truths that must then stand up and be tested when the facts are revealed. Occasionally we are not too far from the truth but this is rare. More often than not, real life is nothing like our imaginings. And sometimes reality stops us short and we gasp and watch our preconceptions crumble to dust. In these moments we learn. We learn to appreciate the person baring themselves to us. And we learn to appreciate our own existence. Mine at least can seem sheltered and cushy when compared to the harsh experiences life has seen fit to throw at others.

David is an artist. I had looked up his website and seen a book of his work following our first meeting during the briefing day in January. He is, in my opinion, quite brilliant at what he does. Not only is he is an artist but an explorer too! I had therefore, instantly fabricated my perception of his lifestyle around those facts and assumed a fair amount of glitz.

That morning, on the beach, David described his daily reality. It was so far removed from anything I had imagined that my entire perception of him underwent a dramatic shift. I had admired his work before. Now I admired him as a human being.

Late home again

Eventually Bhim, Jack and Tessa reappeared from the brush and used sign language to let us know they would walk back along their side of the river and cross over where it was narrower. So we set off over the pebbles to meet them.

We were not as late back to camp as I had expected to be. But we were late enough to get an earful from the Colonel. On the plus side, Jack and Tessa’s excursion had won them some clear footprint data and several dung samples to add to our growing collection.

Lesson no. 29: When left waiting on a river bank in tiger territory, don’t forget to look behind you


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m back! I’m back!

Sorry about the long wait folks. I’ve had a lot on my plate.

I’m now up and running as a freelance copywriter, journalist and social media expert. See my website at if you’re interested to know more.

Most importantly of course is that i’ve managed to carve out some time to start writing my story about Nepal again…

Hang on to your hat! Here it comes… the second half of what is clearly turning into a book. :)


Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


Short interlude…

Dear readers

As things are taking longer than I hoped they might, I thought I’d best let you all know that I am having to use every hour I have away from my formal employment to set up my new freelance business. Please bear with me. As soon as I have everything sorted I shall get right back to writing the account of my expedition.

In the meantime, please feel free to let me know what you think about the work so far.




Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 624 other followers

%d bloggers like this: