AMI Marine are once again fundraising for The Seafarers Charity, this time they will take on a physical challenge with a difference – The Iron Butt Sore Saddle 1000.
During the Covid pandemic over 1 million people serving at sea were stranded aboard. From Cargo ship crew to waiters on cruise ships. The Seafarers Charity in collaboration with Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest provided much need help to those seafarers. One story comes from Izad’s. His story hallmarks the enormous difficulties that coronavirus has brought to seafarers throughout the world.
Izad was aboard a cruise ship, confined and unable to leave. The 500 strong crew and staff had no contact with the outside world and little resources due to salaries being cut to a third.This stressful and upsetting situation was unbearable. But help did come.
The Seafarers’ Charity worked with their expert partner Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. Their specialist support team visited Izad and his shipmates and tackled the bankrupt cruise company about withheld salaries, which were eventually paid. They also arranged for chaplains to counsel crew members and provided free internet communications so that the seafarers could at last talk to their families and loved ones again.
In this incredible time, we want to help those in need and really need your support to help effected seafarers around the globe.
AMI Riders: Robin Grigg and Martin Cox
In recent years, our Technical Manager Robin Grigg was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. Due to the seriousness of his illness, Rob underwent emergency surgery to remove much of his intestines. After enduring months of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, he is well recovered and now ready to take on this motorbike challenge for a great cause.
Just over 3 years ago, Company Director Martin Cox underwent emergency spinal surgery after being diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome. Martin has been undergoing regular rehabilitation since his procedure and has also agreed to take on this challenge together with Rob, to raise funds for the Seafarers Charity.
Both Martin and Robin are now challenging themselves to complete the IronButt Association challenge – ‘The SoreSaddle 1000’.
They will be riding their motorbikes and covering 1000 miles – but it must be achieved within 24 hours!
This ride is a challenge for any rider who takes it on, though for Martin and Robin, they will be exploring their own unique limits of endurance, to complete this ride successfully.
They will be supported by our Technical Engineer Tom Hayden, who will drive the AMI Van to offer general support, technical back up and the usual supply of food with dry clothing when needed.
Robin will be riding his Yamaha Tracer 900GT, Martin his K1300GT and they will also be joined by Simon Jordan, who is AMI Marine’s marketing consultant. Simon will be riding his trusted GS1150 adventure classic!
The Seafarers Charity
AMI Marine are proud supporters of The Seafarers Charity’ and recognise the important work they do.
The Seafarers’ Charity (formerly Seafarers UK) has been improving the lives of seafarers and their families for over 100 years. They started as the King George’s Fund for Sailors, providing vital assistance in troubled times. Today, they are evolving, though guided by the same powerful vision. Through grant-giving, they are bringing about a truly life-changing impact for many who work – or have worked at sea, and their families. Alongside this, they also use funding collaboration, research, and advocacy.
This challenge is going to be the toughest one yet and we would love for you to get involved and show your support.
Interview with Martin Cox
1. Can you tell us about your challenge and what it entails?
The SoreSaddle 1000 is a long-distance motorbike challenge officiated by The Iron Butt UK Association. To achieve IBA certification, this ride is the introduction level challenge. Our team will ride from Southampton in Hampshire to Land’s End in Cornwall and then travel straight up to John O’Groats in Northern Scotland, all within 24 hours, marking our route over the minimum distance of 1000 miles.
1. What made you decide to take on this challenge?
Simon Jordan who is our marketing consultant, had planned to raise money for a person with a disability in his local community. When he mentioned this to me, I invited myself (and now Rob), to raise funds for our chosen charity of Seafarers, and to undertake the physical challenges of this motorbike trip. As mentioned, both Rob and I have had our own health challenges in recent years, and so felt this would be a great opportunity to get out and also do our bit for those who are going through bad times.
1. What are your roles at AMI Marine?
Company Director – simply a gopher and tea maker, whilst Rob is the Technical Manager of AMI – a man of few words, but can fix anything on a ship and frankly repair anything that is man-made!
2. What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?
It’s a unique personal challenge, in fact, it’s a trip that most normal people would do over a number of days with multiple stopovers. It’s the feeling of accomplishment after testing our individual limits, whilst facing and conquering the British elements over this distance in such a short period of time. Equally, it’s going to be great to raise much needed funds for families under the care of our Seafarers Charity.
3. What do you think will be the most difficult part of the challenge?
I think for Rob and I, we have our own unique limitations physically and so all of our treatments and rehabilitation over the past few years will be tested for sure! I think fatigue will also play a role as the miles are travelled, demanding strength of mind and ensuring safety first is observed for the riders and Tom in the support Van. Riding as a group will present its own challenges, accommodating different riding styles, decision making, navigating traffic, dealing with the weather and being in regular communication with the others via Bluetooth will be a challenge for me personally.
4. Why have you chosen to support The Seafarers’ Charity?
Our industry in Maritime is often taken for granted, and the sacrifices that are made by families with loved ones who work away from home so much of the time. Tragedy can often associated with those who work on the Ocean, and is often unexpended. Families who lose bread winners particularly, require sustainable support. We know that the Seafarers charity is well aligned to who we are as a company, and we actively support their continued efforts to help needy families all around the UK, and beyond.
5. What has your experience been of the COVID-19 pandemic at AMI Marine?
It has been an extremely challenging time – especially in lockdowns 1 and 2, where turnover was reduced by 75% at times. Learning to work remotely has had its challenges for us as a company, but we can honestly say that our team at AMI have shown themselves to be an incredible group of people who continually support all that we do as a company – including this little motorbike trip!
6. How can people support you and follow you on your journey?
Our giving page is now live, and so any form of financial contribution will be welcome, no matter what the amount. We will also have a tracker system working during the event, where our sponsors can see our live progress from the giving page. All 3 riders and our support van will have communication by phone and Bluetooth, and so can be contacted at any time over mobile phone from 12.01am on the 24th September – until we reach John O’ Groats for around 7pm that evening!
If you want to support the AMI team please sponsor us HERE
Additionally, you can contact AMI Marine on +44(0)2380 480450 or firstname.lastname@example.org