Deloitte backs Team Tyne Innovation in transatlantic rowing bid

Deloitte in the North East have taken a sponsorship of Team Tyne Innovation, a group of rowers from the North East taking part in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000 mile race known as the world’s toughest row.

Led by prominent local business figure Phil Kite, the team of four will set off on its mission to cross the Atlantic in December in a boat that will now carry the Deloitte branding.

We decided to sponsor the team after learning of its desire to use the race to highlight the rich tradition of innovation in the North East, particularly linked to river and sea transport technology. Alongside the sponsorship Deloitte is offering additional access to its expertise and help in raising awareness.

Stephen Hall, office senior partner for Deloitte in the North East, said: “Team Tyne Innovation’s decision to use the race to create a living exhibition of past innovations and the latest technological developments that have originated in the North East struck a chord with Deloitte and the many clients that we work with in the region.

“We thought this was a fantastic project alongside of the Great Exhibition of the North and really demonstrates that the tradition of innovation in the North East is alive and kicking.”

Team Tyne Innovation is seeking to showcase innovation in the region by asking local businesses and universities for pioneering products and services that will enable the crew to complete the crossing in the fastest possible time. Specifically they have asked for innovations in the following areas:

  • To improve the design and function of their boat
  • Improves the performance of the crew
  • Offers greater protection from the elements
  • Maintaining the health of the crew
  • Improving communication

In addition the oar-some foursome are also seeking to raise money for local charities as part of their transatlantic bid, including Daft as a Brush cancer patient care, the Stroke Association and St Oswald’s Hospice.

Phil Kite said: “We are absolutely bowled over by the support we are receiving and Deloitte’s involvement is another key milestone as we seek to raise funding for the project and our chosen charities. We’d like to thank them for their contribution.

“From the outset the links between the North East and river and sea-based industrial transport innovation seemed an obvious fit for us to try and represent, but this quickly evolved into how our boat could become a shop window for ongoing innovation in the region and how we could showcase this to the world.”

Stephen Hall added: “When I was approached by Team Tyne Innovation to lend Deloitte’s support, it wasn’t just the idea of crossing the Atlantic and raising money for local charities that sparked my interest. It was the team’s desire to demonstrate that the North East remains a hotbed for innovation.

“Innovation is a pivotal lever in today’s global environment, and it is a top priority for Deloitte. In order to transform the way we serve clients, develop our people and lead our industry, we are investing more time, resources and money than ever before.”

Setting off in December from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, the team of four amateur rowers, which also includes Claire Hughes, Guy Clack and Dave Higgins, will work in pairs (two on, two off) to row across the Atlantic for 3,000 miles, ending in Antigua in the Caribbean.

To find out more about Team Tyne Innovation, the Challenge and how to get involved, please visit:

Did you find this useful?