GB Row Challenge: Filtration

5 Apr 2022

The GB Row challenge is argued to be the toughest rowing race in the world.  On June 12 this year, three rowing boats, like the one pictured below, each with a team of 6 rowers, will be setting off from Tower Bridge to compete in a race around Great Britain. Non-stop and unsupported, it is approximately 2000 miles and the aim is to be the first team back to Tower Bridge! 

This year’s race and those in the years ahead is where Porvair Filtration Group, The University of Portsmouth and a small number of other supporting companies come in. The GB Row founders have been working for several years to make this a ‘race with a purpose’ and we are delighted to confirm that Porvair Filtration Group is supplying all 3 of the boats taking part in 2022 with a range of science equipment that will be capturing the largest volume of data ever recorded on the condition of our coastal waters.

The scientific analysis includes the following:


Installed in the boat rudder which records a “round-UK soundscape”.  This will demonstrate the noise pollution from surface vessels and marine life.


This allows the analysis of the marine life present around the UK waters and is also obtained using filters.  We are hoping Porvair Filtration Group filters will be a solution for this in the future.

Microplastics sampling 

There is no suitable sampling solution currently available, therefore Porvair Filtration Group is working with Engineers at a local company to design one. Porvair is producing parts for a 2-stage filter system which will allow us to capture samples of microplastics from 5mm down to as small as 45um. This size range covers the food size for most marine species and we will be able to see from the results what the profile of plastic pollution looks like around the coastline of GB. Data from races in subsequent years will allow a comparison of these areas to determine the type of plastics present and whether the situation is getting better or worse. 

The value of capturing all these layers of data for the inshore coastline is that it provides a much richer profile of the conditions on our coastline, which is a key step in the improvement of our costal environment to protect its biodiversity.

There are two charities also benefiting from the funds raised from sponsorship of the GB Row challenge teams. These are the Royal Marsden Leukaemia Research Unit, and Active Row. 

At Porvair Filtration Group we are increasing our focus on projects for improvement of Environmental, Social and Governance impact so our contribution to this great project on sustainability and community charities is something we are proud of.

I hope you will join us in following the boat’s progress when the race starts in June.



Get in touch

Find the right industry specialist at Porvair Filtration Group