35 boats started from La Gomera on 12 Dec 2019 and on 07 Mar 2020, 87 days later, 35 boats have made it safely to Antigua. Of the fleet of 7 solos rowers, 14 pairs rowers, 12 trio rowers, 60 fours rowers and 10 fives rowers, a total of 103 rowers 102 made it across.
If it was 32 days or 86 days it has been an incredible achievement. The number that have succeeded does not mean any part of this was easy but is a testament to the rowers’ preparation, hard work and endurance both physical and mental.
Weather. The weather this year has been a mix of all the ocean has to offer. It was not as fierce or fast as two years ago, not as soul crushingly still as last year. Though they may not feel that way now the fleet this year has been lucky to have the full experience of conditions.Technical. As we learn more every year and the crews’ knowledge of equipment and training improves there are less and less technical issues. Autohelm difficulties and broken oars were the most common but beyond that most problems were limited to being one offs. We saw power failure, steering line problems but generally the fleet was in good condition.Health. This challenge places a huge stress physically and mentally on the rowers and we have seen the usual cases of sore bums, muscular injury and sore hands. The recovery for most is quick and for many by now those problems are a memory and part of the story.The rowers will be changed forever. They have seen things no camera will every really be able to capture. There have been whale, orca, shark, dolphin and turtles. Amazing night skies and sunsets and sunrise that lift the spirits. More than this they will have found out about themselves and the honesty that such a tough challenge brings.A huge thank you to the support and interest from all you Dot Watchers – families, friends, sponsors, the media and those who are caught up by how amazing this event is.
It is never too late for your own row and if you are undecided it is less than 290 days until you can be watching dots again and following the challenge for another fleet…