Atlantic Antics in La Gomera!
The past month or so has seen us visit this year's race in La Gomera, race down the Avon in a sinking boat, design a roll-up banner to take to events, print some snazzy stickers, and meet some other ocean rowers!
La Gomera - The Race Start
Two weekends ago, the three of us flew out to Tenerife and hopped on the ferry across to La Gomera to see the preparations for this year's TWAC race. The race start was Thursday 12th, but we were only able to stay for the weekend before. As soon as we arrived in the port San Sebastián, we went straight to the race tent for a future rowers talk with safety officer, Ian Couch. There was so much excitement in the room - we can only imagine what it will feel like this time next year! Over the weekend, we met with lots of teams - past, current, and future. Shout out to Atlantic Duchesses - a female team of four from Holland! It was great sharing experiences of our campaigns to date, getting advice from previous rowers, and learning more about ocean rowing.
Fortunately for us,booking.commessed up our hotel booking so we ended up in the 5* Parador Hotel overlooking the harbour. Hannah was quick to spot the Cava at the breakfast buffet on Saturday morning where we feasted like queens!
We then walked around the harbour to watch the boats being transferred from the boat park into the marina. One by one, they are lifted up by a huge crane, and gently lowered into the water before they are rowed across to the pontoons.
San Sebastián is tiny and filled almost exclusively with people visiting for the race start. Our new Dutch friends invited us for dinner with about 25 other Dutch rowers, some of whom have world records from previous crossings. It turns out 'antics' does not translate directly into Dutch so some explaining was required for our team name. We ended the night at the infamous Blue Marlin - a bar where all the ocean rowers congregate each night - for a few vino tintos and more rowing chat. What more could you want?!
UBBC Head Race
Almost a month ago, we trekked down to Bristol in the early hours of the morning to race as part of the University of Bristol alumni - Nonesuch BC. We sneaked Georgie into our boat for the race, dressing her up in the dashing quartered, Bristol unisuit. Georgie's end of race debrief was along the lines of "it's good you both can row". Funny how we signed up 6 months ago to row the Atlantic, but only just rowed together for the first time ever! Flo, who has an eagle eye for spotting people, noticed ocean rower Lukas Haitzmann in the Swansea crew whilst boating. Afterwards we introduced ourselves and got a whole stream of advice from him. In the 2018/19 race, he became the youngest man to row across the Atlantic at just 18 years old, beating our friend Callum's record (who was 19 at the time). He showed us an incredible video of him swimming with 40 dolphins mid-row, as well as an amusing story of how he unknowingly lost a whole oar! We also set up a stand to publicise our row and encourage fellow rowers to follow us online. It was the first time using a rolling banner (designed by our in-house creative, Georgie Leech) - ocean rowing pros sat whaaat!
Sponsors and 250 Club!
We are still on the lookout for sponsors to help support out row! If you know of anyone who might be interested in getting their company to sponsor us, please let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In other news, we have launched our 250 club! For £250 to help fund our row, you can become a member of the 250 club and get your name on our boat! And a cute little postcard to say thank you.
Finally, have a very merry Christmas! This time next year we will be dreaming of mince pies and turkey whilst surviving on dehydrated food in the middle of the Atlantic!
Love Atlantic Antics x