800NM miles to go on Day 22! Though arrival day/time and position in the fleet is completely determined by the weather, the teams’ equipment, and themselves, for us in Antigua, the countdown is on. Picking up the pace today, we’re seeing Team Antigua covering 93NM in the last 24 hours. The fleet is still far off, and anything can happen BUT if they can keep on their average daily distance, incur no damage to the boat, equipment, or themselves, we’re looking at welcoming Team Antigua in Nelson’s Dockyard around 13th/14th January. You have your flags and t-shirts ready?
Recapping the week since the last blog post, Day 16 started off week 3 very well for Team Antigua, with some sunshine to charge their batteries and spirits after a number of rainy nights and day squalls in a row. Some great messages came in from the guys to kick start the week – From Eli: “We can do this! Visit our site, donate to the NPA Marine Park Project. Let’s make this all count!” and from Scott: “Just wanted to let you guys know that we are in high spirits and looking for a great, strong finish. Small but tallawa.”
On New Year’s Eve they sent in a little video celebrating their half-way mark – you can see John getting a little jam session in while hand steering.
Hand steering – the bane of Team Antigua’s row. As we know Team Antigua has struggled with making enough power pretty much throughout the row, leaving them to sacrifice automatic steering (what would be seen as a luxury to them right now), for essential electrics like the water maker. When hand steering, it’s shifts of 3 hours on, 1 hour off. With auto steering it’s 2 hours on, 2 hours off. Right now they are hand steering in the day and taking longer rests at night. If the fatigue of the row itself wasn’t enough, the fluctuation in sleep schedule each day worsens it. A mid-week call in from John this week and the exhaustion was heard in his voice but, they know this is all part of it and they are all doing okay. What’s incredible is even with these issues, they continue to put on an impressive fight, holding tight in the fleet in 2nd place.
“The World’s Toughest Row” is nothing short of just that, but the experiences mid-Atlantic are unlike anything we’d see here. That beautiful moon we enjoyed here on New Year’s Day was even more spectacular for the team to watch, one like they’ve never seen before, with silhouetted flying fish zooming by. They are enjoying sightings of dolphins and sharks, phosphorescence, and incredible sunsets, sunrises, and night skies.
In the fleet we had a great update this week from Lead Duty Officer Ian Couch, giving the latest details on each team. Check out the official race blogs from this week also – A Tough Week, and the Day 21 Duty Officer Update.
We also caught new videos from solo Damian Browne, plus blog updates from The Atlantic Ladies and The Four Oarsmen. Stay tuned to the Atlantic Campaigns Facebook Page for race updates and track the fleet here.
Eli, John, Nico and Scott are putting in a phenomenal effort in this row to raise as much as they can in donations to create a marine park in Antigua. They want to see scuba and snorkel moorings and labelled trails, a coral farm, a small marked no anchor turtle foraging zone, and more to protect marine life in the area. Funds raised will be used for a patrol boat and equipment to protect and patrol the area, to see marine life flourish in the park, bringing benefit to Antigua both environmentally and economically. Barbuda is also very dear to the team, and following Hurricane Irma, they’d like to use a portion of funds raised in Barbuda where possible. Donate to make this happen for Antigua and Barbuda.
Thanks to the numerous generous donors and sponsors of Team Antigua for getting them to the start and supporting the dream to row for Antigua:
Adventure Antigua, HIHO, Sugar Ridge, Global Bank of Commerce, Falmouth Harbour Marina, Kitesurf Antigua, Epicurean, Kings Casino, Sabrina’s Café, Harney Motors, Digicel, Virgin Atlantic, Seagull Inflatables, Frank B. Armstrong, Antigua Charter Yacht Show, Yamaha Outdoor World, Automotive Art, Anjo Insurances, Antigua & Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping, Indigo Event Services, Sterlings, Cloggy’s, National Parks Antigua, All Source Export, Al Porto, Itchyfeet, Absolute Properties, Nanny Cay Marina Tortola, Aquasports, Carib Bean Coffee, Woods Pharmacy, Antigua Sails, Tropiscapes Ltd., DJ Quixx, DJ Tanny, Antigua Yacht Club, Crock Culture, Tir Na Nog at Harbour Heights on Jumby Bay, Ondeck, Geest Line Shipping Service, Sanity4Life, Club House, Ana’s Restaurant, Dr Sengupta and Associates, and Gill USA, plus a number of anonymous sponsors and individual donors both financially and in kind.
Feature photo by Ted Martin.