We're delighted to be Platinum sponsor of Vodafone Foundation’s ‘BlueTusk’ team – a 3-man crew competing in the World’s Toughest Row 2023. Vodafone is one of CGI’s key clients and longstanding partners and Team BlueTusk’s challenge reflects our ongoing commitment to sustainability and the environment.

What is the World’s Toughest Row?

The annual race is regarded as the premier event in ocean rowing, attracting around 45 competitors from across the globe, united by the same objective: to take on the unique challenge of crossing an ocean in a small ocean rowing boat.

The race begins on 12 December 2023 and covers an impressive 3,000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to English Harbour in Antigua and Barbuda.

The challenge is physically and mentally grueling with rowers battling harsh weather conditions, sleep deprivation, salt sores and sea sickness. To complete the challenge, Team BlueTusk expects to spend approximately two months at sea, rowing 24/7 for two hours on, two hours off, burning in excess of 6,000 calories per day.

We’re delighted to announce that Team BlueTusk crossed the finish line in Antigua on Saturday 20 January at 23:10 local time, after a remarkable 38 days, 18 hours and 29 minutes rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean!

Aaron, Chris and David have also been crowned this year’s Trio category winners, with Aaron now a 2-time winner as he completed the race in a trio for the second year running!

Mark Aston, Senior Vice President, UK North and Australia CGI said: "We're absolutely delighted BlueTusk has arrived safely in Antigua and been crowned winners of their group. Competing in the World Toughest Row is one thing, completing in the fastest time is another! Hats off to Chris, David and Aaron. What they have achieved as a team is incredible and as Platinum sponsors, I'm thrilled CGI supported them in their quest."


See their journey to the finish line 

Team Blue Tusk Worlds Toughest Row 2023

Picture Credit: World's Toughest Row 

Team Blue Tusk Worlds Toughest Row 2023
Team Blue Tusk Worlds Toughest Row 2023

Meet Team BlueTusk

BlueTusk is a team of work colleagues from Vodafone, who have formed a 3-man crew to compete in the race:

  • David Tiplady: a veteran of 11 Ironman races

  • Chris Wood: a former British Army rower with a shared passion for adventure activities

  • Aaron Kneebone: a former Royal Marine who is a keen competitive cyclist

N.B. The team originally had a fourth member, former Police Officer Andrew Curtis, but he has unfortunately had to pull out of the race due to injury.

The crew will be on-board the ‘Shaka Sisi’ - a 28ft long, 5ft high (at the ends) ocean rowing boat. Shaka Sisi is completely self-sufficient and sustainable, equipped with all the crew’s essential needs, including food, a freshwater maker and survival equipment. It is also equipped with solar panels that will generate the power for essential safety equipment, navigation and communication devices.


Team Blue Tusk with representatives from CGI

Figure 1: From left to right: David Tiplady (BlueTusk crew member), Chris Wood (BlueTusk crew member), Stefania Bortolotti (Marketing Business Partner, CGI UK), Ian Dunbar (Senior VP Consulting Services, CGI UK), Aaron Kneebone (BlueTusk crew member), Andrew Curtis (former BlueTusk crew member) 

Why the Atlantic Challenge?

BlueTusk is taking on the Atlantic Challenge to raise funds for the Vodafone Foundation’s #YourPlanet campaign. They are also using the challenge to highlight the urgent need to protect our planet’s wildlife and habitats, raising funds for two important charities that Vodafone Foundation is supporting:

 Tusk and the Blue Marine Foundation.

The team’s mission statement: to prove that with determination, spirit and togetherness, and with one stroke at a time, the greatest challenges can be overcome. 

Our Sponsorship

Sponsorship of Team BlueTusk’s challenge provides a way to reflect our shared commitment with Vodafone to sustainability and the environment, as we continue working towards becoming net zero. Supporting this human endeavour has also created an opportunity to encourage our members to join in improving the health of the planet through our well established No Planet B member engagement programme.


News and stories from the boat can be followed on Instragram @BlueTusk_ 

and also check the team's position on the YB Races App tracker available for download in the app store.


Blue Tusk team on the boat
Blue tusk team making food on the boat


Blue Tusk team in Christmas hats



Show your support and sponsor BlueTusk through their Just Giving page. All donations are match funded by the Vodafone Foundation.


Download ‘YB Races’ tracking app from Apple App Store or Android Play store

  • Search for ‘World’s Toughest Row – Atlantic’

  • Tracking will update the boat position every 4 hours