Hello, and welcome to Microsoft Stories, a new podcast about technology and innovation.
In this first episode, we hear from Anna and Cameron McLean, who spent 43 daysrowing across the Atlantic Ocean。当他们完成了3000英里的旅程时，他们已经设定了两个世界纪录：第一个兄弟划过海洋的兄弟，以及最快的混合性对在大西洋排行。
In this podcast, you will hear directly from Anna and Cameron about their Atlantic crossing and how they innovated along the way.
点击the play button and join us on our journey.
Transcript of this episode
Hi, I’m Andy Trotman, Head of News at Microsoft UK. Welcome to Microsoft Stories – a new podcast looking at technology and the people who use it.
In this series, I’m trying to answer the question: what is innovation? It means different things to different people. Innovation can be as simple as adding an eraser to the end of a pencil or as complex as sending people to the Moon.
Join me on my journey.
(UPBEAT MUSIC INTRO)
在这节课中我要热烈庆祝。李terally. I’m meeting a brother and sister who hold not one but two Guinness World Records. Anna and Cameron Maclean were the first brother and sister team to row across the Atlantic, and no mixed-sex pair has ever completed the 3,000-mile crossing faster than they did.
ANNA: I remember getting back on the oars, and my body was saying, “what, you’re doing this again?! You’re back on the oars again?! You’re doing another two hours?!
That was Anna. I caught up with her and Cameron, Anna’s older brother, at a rowing club in south-west London shortly after they returned to the UK. It was her idea to do the Talisker Whisky Challenge, a race with dozens of other boats from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Taking turns to row in two-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, it took them 40 days to make the crossing. On the way they faced rowing in the dark, sleep deprivation, salt sores, massive waves and sharks, while Cameron fell ill with a serious infection, leaving Anna to row for 36 hours straight.
One of the things that kept them going was technology, including Microsoft Teams, which they connected to via a satellite and a phone. It allowed them to talk to family and colleagues on land. To be more accurate, what kept them going was what Microsoft Teams enabled them to do. Because innovation, at its core, isn’t about the technology, it’s about what it enables people to do with that technology.
安娜：它帮助我们竞争而不是生存。技术使我们能够知道我们在大西洋中的位置，知道你必须划船多少里程，导航。威廉希尔体育官网微软队伍帮助我们与土地沟通，这是必不可少的。因为那里，我们不知道天气会发生什么。只有土地上的人有这些信息。So for them to be able to relay that to us, gave us an advantage, because we then were able to forecast what we would have in three days’ time, if there was going to be cloud coverage, we could then reserve the water and make sure all of our batteries are charged at that certain time. So we had enough power in three days’ time.
Part of why their story is so innovative is because of the technology Anna and Cameron used, but it’s also about where it was used, too. To put their crossing in context: fewer people have rowed an ocean than climbed Mount Everest. And there were times that the closest people to the pair were on the International Space Station, orbiting the Earth hundreds of miles above them.
所以这些消息英航的支持ck home via Microsoft Teams were crucial. They coming from a group of around 70 friends, family members and colleagues across the world who were part of a Teams group. They could send images and videos back and forth, and even hold voice calls.
I spoke to Anna, who works for the Microsoft partner AlfaPeople, via Teams while she in the middle of the Atlantic. We chatted for around 20 minutes about how the race was going, the highs and lows, and looking forward to a hot shower in Antigua. Then we tried a live video call via Teams. I could see Cameron rowing, their sleeping quarters, their calendar that had days marked off, their wall of photos and messages of support.
Here’s a snippet of that call.
ANNA SPEAKING WHILE ROWING IN ATLANTIC: We are able to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, even from here, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s just incredible. It’s just amazing.
CAMERON: Innovation during this whole crossing was probably most fierce when we were at the start line in the Canary Islands, because there’s 35 boats all lined up. And it’s there you start to get ideas from other crews. And you think, Oh, that’s a good idea. Why didn’t we do that? And, oh, that’s a good idea. And then oh, they’re taking a helmet. Why have they got a helmet?
That’s when the nerves began for Anna and Cameron. Even though they had spent two years training, planning and preparing for this moment, the realisation of what they were about to attempt dawned on them. At times like these the adrenaline kicks in, and it’s easy to miss the really important checks and preparations that can either make or break major challenges. Focusing on the task at hand and thinking about what they needed to do was crucial if they were to be creative and innovative, which they would have to be if they were to succeed.
CAMERON: I ended up buying from like the hardware store two bits of wood and making a shelf in one of our cabins that then had bungees and rope attached to it. And we managed to carabiner basically all the essential items like our sunglasses, and torches, a Sharpie pen that we were using to count down the days. Basically anything that we wanted within arm’s reach, because if you have to go through the effort of having to open a container and another bag, you’re just never going to access what you need, because you’re just so tired on the boat, you row, you sleep, and anything else is just extra effort. So to be able to find all those items, essentially with our eyes closed, and within arm’s reach, just made it so much easier.这是我们离开之前的最后一刻创新。
One person’s innovation is another person’s mistake. When you’re being creative, it’s important to be positive – focus and mental strength play a huge part, but not to extent that you are closed-minded. Cameron needed to believe that what he was doing would help him and Anna be successful, but in a measured way. By carefully entering into that innovative headspace and staying there, he created a vital solution that could help them at sea. The level of exhaustion they struggled with meant that everything they needed to use had to be within reaching distance while they were on the boat.
ANNA: You want it to be as easy as possible. But when you’re in the Atlantic, in those conditions, nothing seems easy. I remember, Cameron would say, oh, Anna could you put the Country playlist on. All this would require was for me to turn around, open the door, literally press a button, press play on the speaker, and put the playlist on. I wouldn’t even have to really move my body that much but the effort it required for me to take 10 seconds to just to put some music on or to grab his sunglasses for him. It just took all of your energy, and you really had very little energy.
CAMERON: There’s power in information. It was that information that gave us a competitive advantage. The lesson we learned was not rowing to survive, but rowing to compete, which we were able to do from the information we received through the technology.
I love technology. I have loads around the house and we’re quite comfortable with using technology and Microsoft products but I think when you take the technology into an environment that’s unknown, and certainly the Atlantic, we were not sure how things were going to work.
确实如此。将信任的产品带入新的地方，并不可避免地有关于这些产品如何工作的问题。技术如何应对所需的需求？Anna和Cameron所做的是将这种技术与可靠的东西融为一体 - 他们的职业道德。
Does using technology in innovative ways have an effect on us, as humans? Does it make us act differently? It did in the case of Anna and Cameron. The technology was making it possible for them to do more, so they responded, in tandem. They upped their game.
CAMERON: I think it just stimulated that inside of us and our competitive nature to just want to win and succeed. Certainly receiving information that said “you’re not doing well” drove us to pull and push harder. And then information saying “you are doing well”, well, we wouldn’t let that slip. We just keep going.
Anna and Cameron’s passion for the sport they love is, frankly, amazing. When I arrived for my chat with them in London on a very cold and windy day, they were rowing along the Thames. This was just weeks after they returned from rowing across an ocean. Their hands were still blistered.
In order to succeed in the Atlantic, Anna and Cameron knew they needed an innovative strategy – they needed to do something that the other teams were not doing. They had used technology to give them crucial information on the weather and sea conditions and receive messages from their team and family that spurred them on. Now, they needed to be innovative in how they raced.
Anna and Cameron looked for something that could give them an edge over the dozens of other competitors. How could they close the gap on other teams who were rowing as hard as they were, in an environment where changes in the sea and wind can affect one boat much more than another? After all, the boats aren’t following the same path, it’s not like an F1 race where you can close the gap by taking the next corner a bit quicker than your rivals.
卡梅隆:是很有挑战性的,知道你的can actually control in a situation to give us a competitive edge. So we had to be quite innovative, and finding a sleep pattern that made our boat go fast. So we assumed other crews were doing similar to us at the beginning – two hours on, two hours off. But we eventually changed that to three hours on, three hours off.
Their plan to sleep and row for longer could have backfired. There was a risk they would become more tired, crave more sleep. It was only an extra hour rowing, but the effect on their motivation and mental energy could have been devastating. But being innovative can be about taking risks, too. If you’re going to do something new and break records then you have to think and act differently. However, their thinking didn’t stop there. Anna came up with an even bigger – and riskier – idea.
卡梅伦：生存的唯一途径真的是找到共同点，找到你理解对方的透视。你可以同情，因为你有这种观点。有一个时间在安娜直接划船36小时，因为我在机舱内生病了，我的膝关节感染通过微观的划痕萎缩，我试过划船武器 - 只有几个班次。我们在横穿期间休息了两个小时。最终我甚至无法下床。I couldn’t rotate from my waist and as Anna was rowing, I was looking for her to fill my water bottle, feed me, help me flush the infection out of my body and remind me when I needed to take my antibiotics because I was just trying to sleep through it. And I was looking for somebody to support her rowing and get on the oars, but I just physically couldn’t do it at that time. And it wasn’t until I was feeling a little bit better and the antibiotics were working that we could have that conversation and realise each other’s perspectives and realise we needed each other, and it was the teamwork that drove us to race and to compete, and to make the boat go even faster.
It seems to me that there was a lot of innovation on board that small boat, because the conditions demanded it in order for Anna and Cameron to be successful. They channelled the information they received via Teams from their land-based crews, processed that in their minds, and came up with a plan that relied on a gruelling physical solution to help them go faster.
(SOUNDS OF ANNA AND CAM CELEBRATING AT THE FINISH LINE)