It’s only been 4 weeks at sea so far and it’s hard to believe how quickly we are welcoming the first teams in Antigua as they complete their campaign in the 2017 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
The first to arrive in Antigua will absolutely smash the world and race record for fastest Atlantic rowing crossing – standing at 35 days. Currently The Four Oarsmen lead the pack with 107NM to go, followed by Team Antigua with 151NM, and close behind them, Swiss M’Ocean with 162NM to go to the finish line. As of the 11th January 2018 8pm & 10pm GMT update, the ETA for the Four Oarsmen in Antigua (local time) is Friday 12th January at 9:10pm; for Team Antigua Saturday 13th January at 9:26am, and closely following Team Antigua, Swiss M’Ocean at 11am on Saturday. With current projections, we’ll also welcome solo Marks Slats (Row 4 Cancer) and Home to Portrush this weekend. Mark Slats is scheduled for 10pm on Saturday night, and Home to Portrush’s ETA is Sunday 2:37pm. These ETAs change with each update – for teams under 200NM it’s every 2 hours, for the others it’s every 4 hours.
Get the latest ETAs here. Check the leaderboard, switch to VMG recent and remember, the times are in GMT (-4 hours for local time in Antigua).
In Week 4, the battle continued for Team Antigua gripping tight to 2nd position in the fleet with the Swiss boys hot on their trail. Just the fact that Team Antigua have been able to keep up with the front of the fleet given their power issues and resulting grueling schedule, is monumental to say the least. They’ve had to adapt an inconsistent rest schedule, which increases fatigue further. 3 hours on, 1 hour off when reserving power by hand steering (instead of using the auto steering system), and reverting to 2 hours on, 2 hours off at night, given enough power has been made.
Team Antigua is absolutely exhausted, and there was a very low point last week for the crew. When Eli called in to Observer Radio (1hr 40mins in), he reported extreme fatigue to the point of hallucinations – Big John realized he was talking to a wall and Eli saw himself rowing under the Brooklyn Bridge – “When you’re deprived of sleep to the point where you’re hallucinating you can just imagine how low you feel – so it’s tough.”. However, in the last week, spotting familiar signs of home like our National Bird, the Frigate Bird, have lifted spirits onboard and now that they are just days away from landfall, the team is excited to get back home.
Over the last week in Antigua, the buzz is building for the arrivals with donations coming in, Team Antigua merchandise selling out, and even a pledge for donations throughout the Voice of the People show on Observer Radio 91.1FM on 8th January. Check out Diana Watt and John Fuller repping Team Antigua on ABS Television (2hrs 41mins in) this week, and listen to the call ins from the team on 10th January on ABS Television (21mins in), and today 11th January on Observer Radio (27mins in).
For the fleet, Duty Officer Ian Couch provided another great update this week for each team; check it out here. The official race update video is here, and we got a half-way update from Atlantic Carbon Zero who have suffered through incredible equipment loses since the start but still push on.
Each of these teams deserves a hero’s welcome. If you are in Antigua, come down to Nelson’s Dockyard to witness history being made on several occasions in this challenge. If you are not in Antigua, the Atlantic Campaigns Facebook Page will have live coverage of each arrival and continuous race updates.
Team Antigua at the TWAC start by Ted Martin.
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. Funds raised will be used for 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, Paddy Prendergast, Asher Otto and 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, Observer Media Group, Allan Aflak, Roddy Grimes-Graeme of Acquafilms, 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.