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An inspirational story of courage, teamwork and commitment.


'An extraordinary mental and physical effort - something very, very special' is how the late Sir Peter Blake described Rob Hamill and the late Phil Stubbs' incredible achievement in winning the inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race.

Marathon rowing champion Rob Hamill represented New Zealand in rowing for 16 years. Rob's numerous rowing achievements include a silver medal at the World Championships, Commonwealth gold and a world record on the indoor rowing machine.

Previous experience
Rob rowed for New Zealand at the Atlanta Olympics and published The Naked Rower on how he and Phil Stubbs captured headlines around the world winning the gruelling and inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race in 41 days. He then led teams to successful defences in the next two editions making it a three-peat of victories for New Zealand.

Rob has spoken to over 100,000 school children throughout New Zealand to help them aspire to reach their goals. He is co-organiser of The Great Race, an annual rowing 8s clash between Waikato and Cambridge/Oxford/Harvard/Washington Universities on the Waikato River. His latest project was managing a rowing expedition across the Tasman Sea that was completed last year and a related campaign to build the world's largest human made coral reef.

Current work
Documentary maker
The next project is the inaugural Pacific Rowing Race.

Rob was recently the narrator-protagonist of the award-winning documentary Brother Number One, which recounts the story of his return to Cambodia to retrace the steps of his brother Kerry, tortured and murdered by the Khmer Rouge.

Rob's account is a powerful and inspiring message on ambitious goal setting, tenacity, hope, love and the last human freedom: the power to choose your attitude and how you respond to any given situation.

The humour, the insights and the emotional turning points have audiences spellbound while the use of an amazing audiovisual show help make the audience feel part of the challenges.

Rob will inspire you to pursue your dreams whatever they may be, to take on new challenges, overcoming hardship against the odds and know that with passion anything is possible.

It doesn't hurt to be just a little bit crazy too.

Rob is a fantastic speaker. He was humorous and kept the audience entertained and inspired. The feedback from our clients has been extremely positive. He is extremely down to earth and even stayed behind and mingled with our clients after the presentation which was a nice touch. GHD Limited

Rob was asked to speak on behalf of Rowing NZ. I know he had to put in some extra hours preparing the speech and linking it to our function. It was fantastic. My feedback comments indicate that he made the night. He sold a large number of his books and gave us his profits’ for our fundraiser. We thought that was very generous. He networked the tables and was accessible to all. He arrived early to ensure that the electronic equipment was working , this made for a good presentation. Good humour and speech content were evident

St Peters School

Rob was given a very tight time frame, he managed to condense his address and relate it to our business. The audience were totally focused. They were entertained plus informed. Visual were good and technically excellent.

Building Industry Authority

What an excellent speaker and a very inspirational story. The audience loved it.


Extremely motivational speaker - related his comments back to the crowd and their lives so made it personal for everyone.

Direct Management Services

Rob has a remarkable story, told in a clever and compelling way. He is able to engage deeply with his audience; he made us laugh, cry and most importantly think deeply, as leaders, about our role in the world. One of the best!


"Rob was very personable, he gladly accepted further tasks such as handing out the awards at our ceremony. Rob stayed at the function beyond any time expectation talking and mingling with our guests. Rob donated a signed copy of his book for our Leadership award, this was unexpected and greatly appreciated. We had such a wide diversity of people with an equally wide age range, the story Rob relayed resonated well with all our guests, not one person felt they could not relate to the messages portrayed."

Electrical Apprentice Finals Awards Dinner.

Rob delivered a truly brilliant and motivational presentation. His inspirational story created an electric start to our conference and the audience was held captive for the full 50 minutes - feedback was 100% positive. Rob worked to our brief, skilfully weaving in relevant messages about life and importantly made the audience feel good about being Coastguard volunteers, and that is gold!

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