Showing posts with label Talisker Atlantic Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Talisker Atlantic Challenge. Show all posts

The 2016-2017 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Rowing Challenge is Underway

One of the great annual endurance events in the world got underway yesterday as the 2016-2017 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge began in the Canary Islands off the coast of northwest Africa. Over the next two months, 12 solo, two-person, and four-person teams will row across the Atlantic Ocean to the finish line on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean Sea, covering some 3000 nautical miles (3452 miles/5556 km) in the process.

The rowing crews departed at 9:30 AM local time from the harbor of San Sebastián de La Gomera with a large, and loud, crowd to see them off. As you can imagine, the teams were pretty excited to get underway, but they didn't leave without a bit of trepidation. Most won't see their loved ones for awhile, as the two-person teams are estimated to take roughly 50 days to cross the Atlantic. Of course, the four-person squads – which includes an all-women's team from the U.K. – should go a bit faster, while the solo racers will take longer.

One of the teams from the U.S. consists of brothers John and Kurt Suchwartz, who managed to catch some media attention when it was learned that they would row the Atlantic naked. Of course, experienced rowers know that this isn't completely uncommon, as it helps to lower the level of friction and reduces blistering. Still, it made for a salacious headline or two leading up to the start of the race.

Now that they're underway, the teams will face everything from perfectly calm, lovely weather, to potential tropical storms, heavy waves, and high winds. It's all part of the challenge of course, but that won't make it any easier to complete.

You can follow the progress of the teams in the weeks ahead at race's official website.


The 2015 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Gets Underway on Monday

One of the toughest endurance races in the world is set to get underway on Monday, when the 2015 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge begins in San Sebastian on La Gomera in the Canary Islands, and ends when competitors reach English Harbour in Antigua. In between, they must cross more than 3000 miles (4828 km) of open ocean, completely unassisted and under their own power.

This year there are 26 teams from around the world taking part in the race. They are competing in two separate divisions, with some solo racers, as well as two- and four-person squads. The faster boats (read the 4 person teams) will be able to finish in under 40 days, while the solo racers could take upwards of three months to complete their ocean crossing. Doubles teams typically finish in 60-70 days, although weather conditions can of course play a huge role in how fast these teams can go.

As you would expect, these rowboats are marvels of modern technology and engineering. They have each been designed to be as efficient as possible out on the water, and come equipped with solar panels to help power navigational and communications systems. They also have desalinization equipment that can create drinking water from the ocean. Small cabins allow the crew to get some respite from the elements, particularly while sleeping, and they'll carry 2+ months of food and supplies with them as well.

The two- and four-person crews will man the oars 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the cross the Atlantic. They'll work in shifts, with one or two people rowing for two hours before taking a break. Of course, the solo rowers will need to stop to sleep, but They'll often row for 12+ hours per day themselves.

The boats will depart from La Gomera at about 6:30 PM local time on Monday, with everyone getting underway at the same time. From there, we'll be able to track their progress using GPS, but don't expect the first teams to arrive in Antigua until late January at the earliest.