The team is made up of more than just the crew! A lot more needs to happen off the water than on it. If you'd like to get involved, get in touch!

Kristen Downs


Crisis Management Coordinator

Kristen and Heather have been friends and travel buddies since meeting on a tram in Grenoble, France in 2004. They have adventured together in a total of 6 countries so far with hope for more to come.


A PhD Candidate in Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina by day, Kristen has been the rescue mastermind at the tail end of the Pacific Giants Row. She has pieced together people, task and time like a stage production. While most of us were sleeping Kristen was busy directing and negotiating with the Mexican boat broker and translator, liaising with the weatherman, Heather's family and Pacific Giants Row team. The logistics of getting the boat trailer to Mexico with all the right paperwork has been a feat in itself. Kristen's kindness and attention to detail has meant Heather will step off the boat with a Mexican host, accommodation, and most things organised for her return to California.

Caroline van Onselen


Logistics & Media Support

The most elegant farm girl in Western Australia and dear friend of Heather, Caroline is background in communications and organising grand events. She taking on the task of being the Go-To girl, managing the website, coordinating social media, answering media inquiries and arranging logistics throughout the row.  

As the team's primary contact during the row, she can be reached at:



The Camera Guy

The representative Kiwi on the team, Grant is a photography enthusiast and loves to combine international travel with his photography. He is a fellow disaster scientist and avid YouTube watcher. 


Living in Perth, Grant has also put in most of the hard yards getting the boat looking good and to where it needs to be.  


lisa allison.jpg

Social Media Guru

As a new Tasmanian, Lisa has settled at the bottom of the planet after starting off in UK and travelling her way south over the years. She is currently work in emergency management, which is how she met Heather when they worked together in Perth. Lisa is the Instagram Queen ;)



Ocean Rowing Support

Chris rowed at the international level and won a medal at each of the six World Championships where he raced. In 2005, he became the 30th person to row solo across the Atlantic and then earned a Guinness World Record (with Mick Dawson) in 2009 for becoming the first team to row across the North Pacific from Japan to San Francisco.

In 2006, he co-founded the Association of Ocean Rowers to help give others the same amazing opportunities of rowing an ocean which he has enjoyed.​ Since then he has offered advice and has provided land support for multiple ocean rowers and other adventurous expeditions. New Ocean Wave is his baby and in 2011 he started the Great Pacific Race. He has assisted more than 60% of all crews who have successfully rowed the Pacific.  Here's to adding one more to the count!



Weather Routing 

Stokey will be providing weather routing services for Heather. Calling up each day at set time to have a quick chat and pass on the upcoming forecast and provide an appropriate waypoint to head for to get the best route to Hawaii. 

With personal experience of sailing more than 300,000 miles, including 30 Atlantic crossings and 90 passages to the Azores teaching ocean sailing & celestial navigation, Stokey comes with an exceptional amount of weather routing experience and has helped many ocean rowers to their destinations. 



Blog Support

Being the big sister, Stephanie is been dragged into many of Heather's crazy ideas and generously answers pleas for help! She'd probably be on the boat if she didn't get severely seasick on the calmest of days. Tucked away at the bottom of the Pacific in Christchurch, New Zealand, Steph will be receiving the updates directly from Heather to pass along for you to read.  



Sports Dietitian

As a dietitian who works across both elite rugby and rowing, Sally has a passion for nutrition.  She's been keeping Queensland Rugby Union athletes at the top of their game, and is now working to get Team USA on to the podium at the Olympics. 


A strong promoter of nutrition to anyone and everyone, Sally has volunteered her services to make sure Heather stays healthy and doesn't waste-away at sea!