Crew of novice sailors to cross Atlantic in memory of Bristol alumnus

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By Imogen Horton, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The team are taking part in the challenge as part of the Race4Rene campaign in memory of Rene Zamudio.

A 12 man crew is to set sail across the Atlantic next month in order to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

This will be the first time anyone in the team has completed an ocean crossing passage and the crew have given themselved the extra challenge of competing against over 1,200 touch racers and 200 boats in the Atlantic Race 2019.

The Race4Rene Crew are completing the challenge in memory of their friend Rene Zamudio, who tragically died after a mental health relapse in 2017.

Rene studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol before going on to study for a Masters in Computer Science at Imperial College London.

Other Bristol alumni, Miki Urysszek, James Foster and Jess Harding, all of whom knew Rene through university halls or their participation in the Bristol University Rowing club, are also members of the team of 12 novice sailors.

Talking to Epigram, James Harrison, who rowed with Rene while studying at Imperial College London, said that the campaign's aim was to 'remove the stigma associated with mental health by creating a more open and honest dialogue around it.'

'If we are successful with our aims I hope that our Race4Rene campaign can continue to expand and spread our message, because asking for help should not be as hard as crossing an ocean.

'Through doing this I hope to celebrate René's life, and to help those who are struggling with their own mental health.'

The Race4Rene campaign has so far raised nearly £40,000 for the charities Papyrus,  a youth suicide prevention charity and Child Bereavement UK, including over £24,000 raised at a Race4Rene Ball held last week.

The crew now have a training week in Gran Canaria, before starting their race across the Atlantic on the 24 November, where they will cross a total of 2,700 nautical miles of open ocean.

The link to the team's donation page can be found here.

Featured Image: Race4Rene


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