Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
The World's Toughest Row
From La Gomera, Canary Islands (28 'N 18 'W), to English Harbour, Antigua (17oN 61oW).Nothing but 3000 miles of open ocean and two-hour shifts of around the clock rowing awaits.
The world record to row across the Atlantic is 29 days; the average is 60, and the longest 120. Between the two islands, we will be tested as a crew to the limits of our physical and mental capabilities as we push to be the youngest and fastest three women to ever row across the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1966, Sir Chay Blyth and John Ridgeway performed their legendary open-boat row across the Atlantic. The trip took 92 days and is one of the ultimate stories of human endurance, laying the foundation for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The boats and technology may have changed since the ‘60s, but the challenge offered by the mighty ocean remains. More people have climbed Everest, trekked to the North Pole, and travelled into space than have successfully rowed across the Atlantic, truly making it one of the toughest challenges on the planet.
Our race will begin in December 2020, competing against 30 crews from around the world, all of whom are powered solely by their own strength and determination. Once out of the safety of San Sebastian Harbour, we are on our own; unsupported, and at the mercy of the ocean and the elements. The challenge will be relentless. We’ll face a constant battle of sleep deprivation, salt sores, and blisters (everywhere!), 40ft waves, and the physical extremes of rowing for 12 hours a day – 2 hours on, 2 hours off. Not great for a team of women who enjoy their sleep!
We will be rowing in a Rannoch R45. It’s eight metres long and two metres wide, with only two small cabins for protection against the waves, storms, and powerful sun rays. If the waves prove too much and the boat capsizes, it is designed to self-right.
Race rules dictate that the boat has to be fully equipped at the race start, with everything we’ll need for the entire voyage. We cannot take any repair, help, food, or water during the crossing. Preparation is key to ensuring we know our boat inside out - being able to fix vital pieces of equipment like the watermaker (a machine to desalinate the ocean water) or GPS devices will ensure a safe, successful, and hopefully fast crossing. All our rations will also be on-board, most of which will be dehydrated (yum!), but we will, of course, be ensuring there is a good supply of chocolate – the taste testing of which has already begun.
Whilst the above may seem a little daunting at times, we are so excited to get out onto the ocean and face this challenge head-on. Let the Antics begin!