Fight Oar Die at DU: a Pioneering sendoff

Photo courtesy Jason Evans & Fight Oar Die

Denver Pioneer head hockey coach David Carle, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, and the media all came out Monday afternoon on campus to meet “Fight Oar Die”, the DU supported team of veterans who will row across the Atlantic this December. Also on hand was “Woobie,” the 30-foot rowboat the men hope will carry them to victory.

Skipper Alex Evans, Beau Maier, Bryant Knight and Chris Kuntz will depart from the Canary Islands and hope to make it to the finish line of Antigua in around 45 days (34 days is the race record). This will be the first time an all U.S. veteran team has entered the prestigious Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. A spokesperson for the team says they believe each team member will make around 1.6 MILLION rows of the oar during their journey (he concedes this is very rough math).

Woobie and Fight Oar Die are now heading down for two weeks of training in Mobile, Alabama. Also making the trip to the Gulf is Dr. Jacob Hyde, a DU military psychologist who will conduct sessions preparing the FODers for the mental rigors of a month and a half navigating the open ocean.

Dr. Hyde and his students will study the men in real time during the race, in research they believe will provide valuable new insights into PTSD.

He also thinks his research could someday be used in the run up to a Mars mission.

Photo courtesy Jason Evans & Fight Oar Die

CBS4, 9News, and a national news crew all came out to interview the team during the campus event.

Cheer coach Wendy Roberts said after meeting the guys and seeing Woobie, her cheerleaders called her to talk about how much the experience meant to them.

However the whole endeavor has proven to be very expensive, including costs for the boat, food, mandatory insurance, and other needs. If you are interested in helping Fight Oar Die complete their mission (as well as help DU researchers) you can donate on their website at www.usvetrow.org.