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2016-12-14T16:53:00+0000
December 14th, 2016

On the very cusp of completing the race is Square One Atlantic, who should be arriving late tonight! A mixture of nerves and excitement for this pair as they enter their last few hours at sea after 65 days. Although they’ve had their fair share of thrills in the last few days! Lee woke up to find a huge oil tanker on their course, and after contacting them they moved out of the way, only to find another one coming at them! Luckily, all was well. See you later boys.

Following closely behind them are Neil and Hamish of Atlantic Buoys. We’re hoping to see them in Antigua in the early hours of tomorrow morning, so check in on Twitter when you wake up to join us in congratulating them. The boys are excited about the finish, not in the least because of the food requests that will be waiting for them – bread, cheese, real butter, biscuits and coffee. Comfort food at best!

A similar story from Duncan of Rowing For Rascals, who had this very specific, malt loaf-related request for his sister – “Pls bring malt loaf and if u can, cut it lengthways and pack it with lurpak. Butter the hell out if it.” Who knew butter would be such a popular craving?

Our favourite Northern boys Thrift Energy are finding some speed, moving up to 24NM in the last 24 hours and with less than 300NM to go. After a difficult few weeks, they’re so close now! Evelyn Williams of Atlantic Answer and Yorkshire Rows continue to make good progress also, and we’re expecting to see them arrive in Antigua this week. Coventry 5-O now have their water maker working, which is great news and a big help to their progress. Solo rower Steve Murphy of Atlantic Endurance is doing well since the addition of his support rower after he’d had issues at the beginning with very debilitating sea-sickness and technical faults.

Great to hear that the teams are all so close to the end, although we’re going to miss their hilarious tales and curious cravings. Roll on Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2016!

3,000 miles of vast ocean to cross is a daunting task, but what makes the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge one of the world’s toughest endurance events is not the miles, not the blisters or the sea-sickness, or even the sharks and storms – it’s the pressure of being alone in the vast Atlantic Ocean. Today we’re giving you a summary of what the solo rowers have endured and enjoyed during their journey so far.

Stuart Connacher of Facing It rowed an incredible 82.8NM in 24 hours yesterday! For a solo rower, this is no mean feat. Congratulations on such a triumphant achievement Stuart!

Greg Maud of Sea Rover has been blogging when possible, and we even have a recording of a satellite phone conversation with the duty manager where he described his journey so far:

“I mean I’ve certainly had moments of extreme lows, asking why the hell am I out here, to times when you’re rowing under a beautiful clear sky at night saying this is just fantastic. I’ve had three visits from pods of dolphins, I’ve seen some game fish as well. It just gives you a little uplift for a while. So emotionally it’s a real rollercoaster ride.”

Evelyn Williams of Atlantic Answer is no stranger to adventure or travel, having already achieved the impossible by running the Marathon de Sables. Taking to the Ocean has been a sporting challenge like no other and an opportunity for Evelyn to test his wits against mother nature. By day 30, Evelyn has already covered 1250 nautical miles, and today has 1620 nm yet to row.

Steve Murphy of Atlantic Endurance is the oldest solo competitor in this year’s race, proving that at 57, anybody can lead an active, fulfilling and healthy lifestyle and push themselves to limits they never believed imaginable.

Here are some facts from Matteo’s (Sogno Atlantico) time at sea so far, according to a recent blog post:

“Matteo has cleaned the bottom of the boat twice, this means two dips in the sea (he remains attached to the boat with a safety line at all times and has a ladder to get out of the water).Despite the cold weather back home, its about 30C and higher for Matteo so he has used 15 bottles of suncream so far. Matteo will have eaten 155 freeze dried meals combined with snacks, and will have consumed approximately 186,000 calories since he left (This is the equivalent to 366 Big Mac’s or 1,476 glasses of wine – in 30 days!) However he is expected to have burnt nearly 250,000 calories through all the rowing to date.”

Callum Gathercole of Waterbabies Row has had some luck on the wildlife front, with dolphins surrounding his boat yesterday. Unfortunately he wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo…maybe next time! Callum has had plenty of thrills along the way, especially when he had a near-miss with a cargo ship. you can read more on that here.

Some stunning examples of grit and determination amongst the solo rowers of the 2015 race. We can’t wait to see what the next week brings, when the rowers start to ramp up their competitive game.