MORE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INTO SPACE OR CLIMBED EVEREST THAN HAVE ROWED THE ATLANTIC.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the the premier event in ocean rowing - a challenge that takes participants more than 3,000 miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, the Canary Islands (280N, 180 W) to Nelson's Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (170N, 610W). The annual race begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world.
Setting off in December 2019, The Atlantic Guardsman crew will be rowing more than 3,000 nautical miles across the world’s second largest ocean as part of the 2019 TWAC. Once they leave the shores of La Gomera the elements, ungodly sleep patterns and stormy seas will slowly break them down both physically and mentally. Relying solely on their own manpower, routing and interpretation of the weather conditions they will not be allowed any outside assistance until they get a helping hand off the boat on arrival at English Harbour, Antigua.
TWO HOURS ON - TWO HOURS OFF
The team will adopt a pattern of rowing for 2 hours, sleeping for 2 hours for the duration of the challenge. Sub-zero temperatures at night followed by 40-degree heat during the day makes for gruelling conditions. On top of this, 40ft waves and cramped sleeping quarters will make catching forty winks difficult at the best of times.
BURNING 12,000 CALORIES PER DAY
Sea water from the ocean will be processed through a solar powered desalination unit (water maker) producing approx. 6 gallons of water per day for cooking and hydration. Dried ration packs and any form of protein that can be caught from the ocean will fuel the engines; all necessary food, cooking gas, medical kit, and safety equipment for the entire crossing will need to be on-board from the moment we set off.
A TIGHT FIT! 7 METRES OF HUMAN IN A 9 METRE BOAT
The team will share the 9-metre Rannoch-made R45 boat for around forty days. As you can see from the ergonomic diagram below, living conditions will be unbelievably cramped and uncomfortable and maintaining good sanitary conditions and housekeeping practises on the boat will be an essential key to success, but more importantly survival.