OAR Northwest is returning to its roots to complete its crew for a transatlantic row later this year.
Captain Jordan Hanssen said the team added former University of Puget Sound rower Pat Fleming for the Canadian Wildlife Federation Africa to the Americas expedition.
Hanssen is a former UPS graduate who formed OAR Northwest with three college friends to row in a race from New York to the United Kingdom in 2006. The 2006 team won the race and earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Hanssen’s book on the expedition, “Rowing into the Son” (The Mountaineers Books, $18.95) went on sale this week.
Fleming is also a member of the Crystal Mountain ski patrol and was part of a high profile weekend of rescues in Mount Rainier National Park in January.
Markus Pokonen of Vancouver Island also moved up from a reserve spot. Pokonen was onboard when OAR Northwest rowed around Vancouver Island earlier this year.
Fleming and Pokonen replace Greg Spooner and Richard Tarbill. Spooner is a former UPS graduate who was part of the 2006 expedition. He has decided to help run the expedition from land rather than make the crossing. Tarbill is a Boeing flight test engineer and a former University of Washington rower. Both Tarbill and Spooner were part of the row around Vancouver Island earlier this year.
The fourth member of this year’s transatlantic row will be Adam Kreek, a 2008 Canadian rowing Olympic gold medalist.