25 Apr 2024

HP Latex claims victory over the elements in Atlantic Challenge

HP Latex claims victory over the elements in Atlantic Challenge.

HP Latex ink technology proved its quality and endurance during a recent extreme challenge by former HP manager Nick Hollis, who rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness of climate change.

Nick spent 50 days at sea aboard Kraken, rowing more than 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. He overcame strong winds, incredibly rough seas and extreme weather systems to complete the Atlantic Challenge, leaving him one expedition short of completing the 721 Challenge.

An intense test of human endeavour and endurance, 721 Challenge comprises no less than 10 extreme trials. Participants must scale the seven largest peaks in the world, ski to both the North and South Poles, and row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Nick has completed all but one of these, with the final test being the North Pole trek which he will commence in April.

Championing its former employee, HP has been with Nick every step of the way providing support and services to help him across the finish line. This backing included delivering graphics for the boat used in the Atlantic Challenge.

PressOn, a long-term HP customer, used its HP Latex R2000 and HP Latex 3600 printers to produce specialist decals to cover the boat with the names and logos of Nick’s many sponsors. Graphics were printed on HEXIS THE190EUO vinyl and laminated with HEXIS PCI90G2.

Despite being subject to some of the most difficult conditions on the planet for 50 days straight, not to mention lengthy exposure to the hot sun of the Caribbean, the graphics remained fully intact and showed no sign of wear or tear when Nick arrived in Antigua on 2 February.

“Upon arrival at the race start in La Gomera, all 39 boats competing in the 2023 World’s Toughest Row had been placed in a cordoned-off race area,” Nick said. “Kraken, wearing her HP Latex decal, looked stunning. Several of my fellow competitors remarked on how amazing Kraken looked.

“When I arrived in Antigua, Kraken, having endured 50 days of rough seas and intense UV exposure, still looked great. The exposed ropes and plastics had faded in the sun, but the HP Latex graphics looked brand new!”

Battling extreme conditions

Offering an insight into life onboard Kraken and the conditions he, the boat and indeed the graphics faced, Nick said the crossing was one of the toughest trials not only in the 721 Challenge, but his entire life.

Nick left HP in 2012 to pursue his passion for exploration, setting up Fitways Adventures, a specialist company that runs expeditions, adventures and team building events. This has allowed Nick to fulfil his dreams of exploration while also campaigning to tackle climate change, with the 721 Challenge playing a big part in this effort.

“Having taken time to reflect, my 50-day solo row across the Atlantic was a phenomenal success, and the entire experience exceeded all expectations,” Nick said. “It was extraordinarily challenging, both physically and mentally.

“The initial phase of the race was extremely challenging. Days two to eight were remarkably intense; winds exceeding 60 kph and enormous seas, with my primary focus being the avoidance of capsizing. The extreme heat was debilitating, especially as I got closer to Antigua, so to mitigate this, I tended to row as much as possible during the night.

“Unfortunately, Kraken sustained some damage during the race’s early stage, including a broken daggerboard, an essential piece of equipment that prevents her from drifting sideways in crosswinds. The absence of a daggerboard placed additional strain on other critical components, including my rudder, which snapped off over 700 nautical miles from the finish line. Fortunately, I was carrying a spare rudder, but fitting it required me to swim in strong winds and huge seas – not an experience I’d like to repeat.”

While the crossing was an extremely challenging 50 days for Nick, he said there were also plenty of highlights. These included his boat being lifted out of the water by a whale and sliding off her back.

“I was visited by a pod of whales; having a calf breaching a few metres away is a memory that will remain with me for the rest of my life,” Nick said. “The sunrises and sunsets were magnificent, and the night sky was breath-taking.”

Working towards a joint sustainable goal

While ensuring the graphics remained intact and still looked the part throughout the crossing was key, the use of HP Latex technology also perfectly matched up with Nick’s overall goal of raising awareness of climate change.

HP Latex printers offer a much more environmentally friendly solution to users than other printing technologies. All Latex printers run with HP Latex ink, which is water-based and has significantly less impact on the planet than other inks such as solvent, eco-solvent and UV.

HP Latex inks also have the most environmentally certified technology and contain no hazardous air pollutants or odours. In addition, HP Latex ink cartridges are carton-based and produced using 100% recycled cardboard, while all HP printers and supplies contain UL validated ocean bound plastic and recycled plastics, further reducing impact on the planet.

 

hp latex nick hollis 2

 

Crossing the finish line at the North Pole

With just one trial to go until completing the gruelling 721 Challenge, Nick is once again looking forward to working with his former employee. HP is set to provide decals for the specialist sledge that will accompany him on his solo ski to the North Pole.

“Given the dramatic loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic during the past 50 years, I intend to use my journey to the pole to showcase the impact climate change is having on planet Earth,” Nick said.

“I’m delighted that HP will provide the decals for my expedition sledge. The conditions in the Arctic will be the complete opposite to the Atlantic Ocean, with temperatures dropping below 30°C.

“Regardless, I have no doubt the HP Latex technology will stand up to the challenge.”

Nick is undertaking these expeditions to raise money for The World Land Trust. If you would like to donate to the cause, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/seven-summits-challenge-nick-hollis

Photo credits: World’s Toughest Row.