Toby, 28 comes from a family of five keen sportspeople who gave him the nickname ‘sumo’ due to his insatiable appetite. True to form he had no problem eating the cold, bland food rations on board while the other boys struggled to get them down. Born with a fiercely competitive nature, he gave Harry a decisive yes to the row within five minutes of being asked. Toby swapped his mouse and keyboard for a pair of oars as he put the venture capital on hold to become an Atlantic rower and never looked back. Instead of thinking of numbers in terms of investment, he started thinking about them in terms of strokes per minute, weight and distance.
One of the hardest parts for Toby was getting to the start line itself. Feeling the intense and constant amounting pressure was all encompassing. Not only had his life been completely taken over by training, raising money and promoting the charity but he was doing all this while working full time which left little or no time to have a life outside of the campaign. However, Toby can honestly say that he has come away from the epic voyage with the overriding opinion that it was his absolute privilege to be part of it.
The team had an unexpected start where they found themselves leading the race during Christmas. Toby’s competitive spirit kicked in and his goal was not only to finish the race but he had to win it. However, their lead became shorter and they were eventually overtaken putting them in 2nd position. Toby felt like he had failed and had he been on his own this would have completely taken over his thoughts. He was still struggling three days out from Antigua but it was only through Harry’s encouragement that really helped him to see that he had not failed but had helped to smash every single goal the team had set out to achieve.
The cause that James’s Place has been set up to help is one that is close to Toby’s heart through personal experience. He is determined to keep up the momentum that was gained from the row by bringing mental health to a place where talking about it becomes the norm.
To read more about the Ambassadors, Trustees, and the Founders, please click here to visit the Meet the Team page.