January 28, 2022

UPDATE FROM ATLANTIC CAMPAIGNS SAFETY OFFICER 

From Facebook

GENERAL

We have seen a race winner, class winner, first trio, first pair and world records for the fastest mixed crew, fastest trio, fastest female trio and fastest female pair. There have now been 23 arrivals with the next crew in due on 31 Jan - Row4Hope. It has been an unprecedented period of arrivals with crews coming in very close to each other. 21 of the arrivals in just 8 days and at one point 7 in just one day. At the time of writing there has been 1500 calls and texts with the fleet. The next closest boat is 195 miles away. The furthest boat is 1316 miles away.

CONDITIONS

Conditions remain relatively kind. It does not feel like it for the crews as the larger group of pairs particularly have all called in to express concerns about why they are going so slowly. The winds have been light but there is a band of localised counter currents that have hit them and been massively frustrating as it has caused fluctuations in the ETAs.

ISSUES

Fortunately the conditions are kind and the preparation of the rowers is paying off and issues – technical, physical and psychological are all relatively minor but it isn’t over until the last rower steps ashore. We have seen minor watermaker issues, autohelm problems sore bums, backs and joints. Understandably after such a long time in a confined space there are significant ups and downs with some rowers. The best of friends can argue and solos become dejected, especially seeing so many crews finish. One rower on the podium said ‘you never get told how hard it is.’ The truth differs slightly – we always say how hard it is but it is difficult to comprehend until you are out there. It is constant and relentless. There is noe escape from the task or the ocean, every problem and hardship must be faced and dealt with. It is free and liberating, beautiful and tough. It will demand everything they have and strip away everything. It is very honest – whatever rowers say they know exactly who they are when they finish and what they are capable of. Attitude is everything and accepting what cannot be changed and changing what is in you control is key – ocean stoicism! If you say it is terrible that is how you feel, if you find the positives that is equally how the you feel. It is have but attitude is one of the few controllables that really can change the character of an individual’s row

FLEET PROGRESS

Still at Sea:

Row 4 Hope 195 miles to finish. Nearest crew 34 miles. Always positive the pair have been rowing strong 45 min watches where they feel they can put down maximum power. Though YB gives then a 50 day finish they are pushing hard for 49 days – there is quite a bet riding on it and it looks like they are going to win it!

Emergensea Duo 229 miles to finish. Nearest crew 54 miles. The frustration has continued as the slow conditions changed the ETA and a problem with the autotiller caused more concern though they have 3 on board. Morale remains high though Antigua is sounding very nice right now.

Foar From Home 283 miles to finish. Nearest crew 3 miles. There is a large contingent in Antigua ready to welcome this crew in. They sound tired now but the end is in sight and conditions turning more to be with them will see they have a relatively straightforward last few days at sea.

Tropical Blue Wave 286 miles to finish. Nearest crew 6 miles. Since the last report the pair have moved up through the fleet and remain focused on rowing their row. They have had no issues at all.

The Mindcraft 292 miles to finish. Nearest crew 11 miles. Injuries have caused the pair to slow but they have increased speed and are now moving through the pairs. It has been tough and both are determined to get into Antigua as soon as possible.

The Entrepreneur Ship 303 miles to finish. Nearest crew 103 miles. Frustrated by the conditions like so many of the others the ETA has been frustrating them but they remain on track and talk of how positive and life changing this row is for them.

Ocean Warrior 433 miles to finish. Nearest crew 89 miles. Winning the solo class Lasse is mixing it up with the pairs now as he looks towards the end of his third row. Hungry and sleep deprived he has lost a considerable amount of weight and has found this experience a revelation with the pressure of the solitude.

Team Migaloo 522 miles to finish. Nearest crew 119 miles. After a difficult few days of being pushed too far south the pair have made excellent progress and are positioning themselves for a better approach into Antigua and with that morale has improved considerably.

Tideway Odyssey 641 miles to finish. Nearest crew 258 miles. The positive mindset has paid off and the experience is better for it. The crew are faster and the ETA has dropped. There has been a minor run in with a jelly fish whilst cleaning the hull resulting in a few stings but both rowers are well and looking forward to Antigua.

Owen’s Rowing 899 miles to finish. Nearest crew 216 miles. Owen took a southerly route early on and has been working his way more north over the past few weeks to give him more route options as he nears Antigua. He continues to speed up and progress is looking good.

Prowject X 1100 miles to finish. Nearest crew 196 miles. As always the most cheerful boat in the fleet. They are making sound progress on a good course and have had no issues.

A Lung Journey 1296 miles to finish. Sandro has been the fastest boat in the fleet this week and that has spurred him on even more to catch Prowject X. He is doing well and unphased by the time and the severity of the challenge.

SUMMARY.

It is tough and demanding and one of the factors that has caused additional, unnecessary suffering has been racing when that was never the plan. We stress the need to set you goal, plan and stick to it and for many crews that was not racing but they have found themselves, understandably drawn into battles with other crews. This puts huge stress on some rowers. It is time to remember why you are there and don’t lose sight of it. Racing when that wasn’t your goal can strip away the pleasure. If you are talking to a rower let them know they should relax, stick to their goal, and enjoy the experience. Crossing the ocean, dealing with adversity, revelling in the moments are the important things, embracing the experience and finding joy in the beauty and wilderness are what counts.

LOOKING FORWARD

Conditions remain good and will continue to fluctuate with winds predominantly good and crews having more elements.

Keep watching YB and prepare for a spate of arrivals 31 Jan – 03 Feb. As always if there are any questions, please let us know!