Meet the Antics!
The 12th of September was the three months to go mark. We're coming to the end of our water training and finalising exactly what we need on the boat with us for 3000 miles. We have our pre-shipping inspection with Atlantic Campaigns (the race organisers) at the beginning of October and then Dolly Parton will be shipped to La Gomera at the start of November!
Meet the team...
We realise some of you may know one of us individually very well or you may not know us at all so here's a quick intro for you...
Top right: Hannah. Bottom right: Georgie. Top Left: Flo.
Georgie, 23, Freelance marketing and design: In charge of the watermaker, boat maintenance and nutrition on board, Georgie's constant enthusiasm and weird questions about life are sure to keep us going!
Flo, 27, Data Analyst. In charge of navigation, socials and ensuring the deck is tidied each day. Flo doesn't like to make bad decisions so is sure to keep us on the fastest track possible to Antigua (and the rum punch).
Hannah, 27, Geography Teacher. In charge of safety (and evacuation but let's hope this role is redundant!), medical and electrics. She's excited to show the Year 9s who keep asking 'why are you doing this/will you die?!' what's possible with a clear focus and a strong team.
In August we had a day on the water with Angus Collins who will be our weather router. He's rowed multiple oceans and done the race twice so we'll be in good hands! He'll advise us each day of the best route to take dependent on the weather. We spent a day in Weston-Super-Mare with Jim at Mactra Marine who taught us all about our watermaker. The watermaker will desalinate up to 30L each hour. It is a relatively simple piece of kit but it's the most important piece onboard and so we have to know it very well! If it breaks beyond repair then we have a hand pump, although this is much much slower and means that we'll each be pumping water on our rest breaks as opposed to sleeping. Last week we had two days with Duncan Roy, who's rowed across the Atlantic twice and just rowed around Britain. We spent a day on shore going through lots of drills and working out how to deploy our parachute anchor if we need to stop the boat from drifting backwards (this could happen if the weather isn't in our favour and it makes more sense to sit on para-anchor for a while than try and row against it and make no progress). We then spent a day on the water with beautiful weather, putting some of our new skills into practice. Finally on Friday we spent the morning with Gary, the marine electrician at Rannoch (the boat builders) who went through all of the electrical systems on board. Again, it's relatively simple when you break it down but it's important we know it incredibly well because we bet it's not as simple when you're trying to repair something whilst rocking around in large waves and on 3 or 4 hours sleep!
As the race is less than 3 months away, we wanted to provide some information for anyone wanting to wave us goodbye in La Gomera at the race start on 12th December! Despite Covid, we are hoping that for those that want to come, they are still able to. To get to La Gomera from England, you need to fly to Tenerife South. From the airport, travel to the port in Los Cristianos either by bus and a short walk, or by taxi. You will then need to take the ferry from Los Cristianos to San Sebastián de La Gomera (Fred Olson or Naviera Armas). As soon as you get off the ferry you will be where the race starts! Our boat will be kept in the boat park and then marina there from 2nd December. La Gomera is a tiny town. Anywhere in town is within walking distance of the marina. We've stayed at Hotel Torre del Conde and at the Parador before - both are conveniently located. We do however want to reiterate that we are not expecting everyone to come as we understand the complexities of getting to La Gomera, potential quarantines, and so on. We may also not be around as much as we complete our final preparations. We still appreciate everyone who is supporting us from home, following us online, or when the time comes, streaming the race start from Facebook Live! During the race you will be able to track us on the Yellow Brick app. We will share details about this nearer the time. For anyone wanting to see us arrive in Antigua, let us know before we leave. We can then put you in touch with the right people on land who can advise on when best to book when the time comes. It is advisable to hold off booking flights or accommodation until roughly 1 week prior to us arriving in Antigua due to the unpredictability of the ocean! Our expectation is to arrive late January but ultimately we have no idea until we are on the ocean.
Sponsorship and fundraising
Thank you so much to those who have donated to our campaign - your support means so much and our Antics Club is continuing to grow! If you'd like to contribute in a smaller (but just as important) way, you could buy as a meal and write a message in it for us to open at sea! Click here to find out more. Don't forget our Easyfundraising page too. When you use easyfundraising to shop with any of their 4,000 retailers, the retailer makes a small donation to say thank you and they send those free funds to our cause. We are still on the lookout for corporate sponsors. If you know of anyone who might be interested please let us know - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support, Atlantic Antics x