The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST ROW
The premier event in ocean rowing – A challenge that will take us almost 3,000 miles (2,600 nm.) west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (17oN 61oW). The annual race begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world. The race structure brings together an environment where teams from across the globe gather in the race village San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands. The atmosphere is electric as people help each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. All with the same objective – to take on the unique experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat. The party atmosphere creates strong friendships and competiveness gives way to camaraderie that will continue throughout the event.
But down to the serious business of rowing an ocean. From the sunsets and sunrises to the wildlife that will be encountered first hand – the race offers different experiences to all those involved. Boats are seven meters long and just under two metres wide, with only a small cabin for protection against storms. All boats are equipped at the race start, and cannot take any repair, help or food and water during the crossing. There is a constant battle of sleep deprivation, salt sores and the physical extremes that the row will inflict. Once the safe haven and party atmosphere of port is left behind – we are left with our own thoughts, an expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side. It’s now our World. A basic existence leaving behind the memories and smells of land and dealing with the emotions of leaving loved ones behind. The focus changes to us, watch systems and knowing everything there is to know about our rowing boat.