Luncheon Meeting (Members and Guests)
Speaker: Mike Matson, Ph.D. "Rowing from the Canaries to Antigua - - the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge"
The Challenge: Teams will row more than 3000 nautical miles across the world’s second largest ocean, the Atlantic. Rowers will head west from San Sebastian in La Gomera to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua. Once they leave the safety of the harbour they’ll be on their own on the vast ocean and at the mercy of the elements, until the race comes into its final stretch.
Having been on nuclear submarines, amphibious assault ships, and even taking a 44′ yawl with a crew of ten from Annapolis to Staten Island and back, Michael Matson feels at home on the ocean. Mike learned to row as a member of the Naval Academy’s Heavyweight Crew and returned that knowledge to Houston where he now coaches the Rice Rowing Club with David Alviar (team mate) and at Atomic CrossFit in Stafford, TX. Stafford is also where Mike was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for over six years and met Anne, his boat’s namesake, who gave her life while fighting the tragic Southwest Inn fire in 2013.
The fellowship in her name is Mike’s chosen charity and aims at helping women pursue a career in the fire service. After getting a PhD in Chemistry studying radioactivity and nanotechnology for cancer detection, Mike became a university professor at University of Houston-Downtown and authored Inorganic Chemistry for Dummies with the iconic yellow cover. He currently is an Engineer-in-Training doing reservoir engineering for Kinder Morgan CO2.
Most importantly, Mike is a family man, married to his “homeroom angel” Samantha who he met in 7th grade, now with two amazing kiddos: Morgan Melody (6) and Shane Cooper (5).