More people have climbed Everest than rowed an ocean.
The Talisker atlantic Challenge is the premier event in ocean rowing – A challenge that will take me more than 3000 Miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain to Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua & Barbuda.
As well as the meticulous planning, the training is brutal and relentless, but I know that if I am properly prepared that could be the difference between life an death; literally.
That means understanding my boat and the technology on board as well as training 30+ hours a week, which includes running, cross-training, weight training, and many, many hours rowing. Relying on my physical strength holding up is one thing, but the biggest challenge is going to be the mind, I know that I have 100% confidence and the mental strength to do this, but nothing really prepares you for what the Atlantic will throw at you.
I can expect to have hallucinations, moments of doubt, lonely lows and immense frustrations through equipment failures and the boredom of rowing continually. Waves have been recorded at 20-30 feet in the Atlantic, and on occasion I will have to dive out of and under the boat to keep the hull clean, no doubt whales, sharks and dolphins will take an interest in me at some point on my journey. I hope that my technology will keep me rowing the right course; but a lot of my discomfort will come from the salt water rubbing and chafing, weather fluctuations and lack of sleep.
But it will all be worth it. I am already dreaming of my first beer when I step on to dry land – hopefully as a world-beater.
This is what the event feels like. Click here to watch the top video on YouTube.
And here are a few at a glance facts
- Each team will row in excess of 1.5 million oar strokes over a race.
- Rowers will row for 2 hours, and sleep for 2 hours, constantly, 24 hours a day.
- Over €6million has been raised for charities worldwide over the past 4 races.
- At its deepest, the Atlantic Ocean is 8.5km/5.28 miles deep.
- The waves the rowers will experience can measure up to 20ft high often more
- There are two safety yachts supporting the teams as they cross the ocean. In the 2013 race, one yacht travelled a massive 9000nm!
- The 2013 winning Team Locura arrived in Antigua with a blue marlin beak pierced through the hull of the boat.
- Each rower is expected to use 800 sheets of toilet paper during their crossing.
- The teams are supported 24/7 by two land-based duty officers.
- In the 2016 race, solo rower Daryl Farmer arrived in Antigua after 96 days, rowing without a rudder to steer with, for nearly 1200miles/40 days.
- Each rower needs to aim to consume 10 litres of water per day.
- Rowers burn in excess of 5,000 calories per day.
- There is no toilet on board – rowers use a bucket!
- Each rower loses on average 12kg crossing the Atlantic!