Lyons O'Neill

Lyons O’Neill engineer takes on the Atlantic

This December, Lyons O’Neill’s Senior Structural Engineer James Protherough will be embarking on a 3000 mile row across the Atlantic to help combat plastic pollution. He will be joined by three school friends, Ewan, Ed and Jon to compete against 30 other teams in the hopes of beating a record time of 37 days and 9 hours, whilst championing a great cause and doing us proud.

The row is part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which has been branded ‘The World’s Toughest Row’ and sees the teams braving the elements by battling hurricane strength winds, 50ft swells and sharks. The added physical strain of exhaustion, sleep deprivation and possible hallucination make this challenge not one for the faint hearted!

A true engineer, James and his team Atlantic Ambition want to take their challenge even further. The team are committed to protecting the world’s oceans by carrying out vital research and have partnered with Smartfin technology to measure critical ocean properties throughout the crossing. This unique data set will be used to help researchers and scientific communities understand trends in the Atlantic Ocean’s health.

In order to make this difference, Atlantic Ambition need to raise £200,000 for charities actively combating plastic pollution in the crew’s respective countries – UK and Australia, and to cover the costs of the necessary equipment and utilities needed to complete the race. Chosen charities include the Surfrider Foundation and the Marine Conservation Society (MCSUK) who organise beach cleans, educate others to understand the impact of their actions and are committed to all-round behavioural change. MCSUK were also the driving force behind the UK’s supermarket plastic bag charge. Other charities include Alzheimer’s Society, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), Multiple Sclerosis UK.

So far, the team has managed to attract an incredible range of corporate sponsors, including Fetch, The Trade Desk and ECoffee Cup. The team is also welcoming donations of any size to assist them with their mission, including various bits of equipment needed during the expedition, prizes for raffles and items to auction at their fundraising meal, so are willing to accept any offers.

If you’d like to find out more about corporate sponsorship opportunities or make a personal donation, please contact or visit their website at

The whole team at Lyons O’Neill wish James and the rest of Atlantic Ambition the best of luck in their challenge and are confident they’ll make a huge impact.