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2016-12-14T11:00:00+0000
December 14th, 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.

The predicted wind direction has not failed the teams, with the whole fleet getting 15-20 knots from the NE and ENE until at least the 9th January. This is great news for teams such as Row2Recovery, who had a game plan of heading South early, as they can now enjoy the benefit of the trade winds from Africa, pushing them towards the Caribbean.

RowLikeAGirl are still doing the girls proud, and remain firmly seated in 3rd position. They rowed an impressive 71 nautical miles in the last 24 hours, which pips second place boat Atlantic Challenge by 3 NM. Dan and Olly will need to pick up the pace if they want to keep their 2nd position.

Remaining in 1st position are Concept Four rowers, Ocean Reunion. They’ve rowed an incredible 710 nautical miles in 10 days. If they keep up this pace, they could find themselves rowing towards the beautiful shores of Antigua in just another 32 days!

Heading up the Concept Class are Ocean Reunion, while pair David Lambert and Tom Brunwin (Atlantic Drifters) lead the Pure Class. Sea Rover Greg Maud (picture above) is currently the fastest of the solo rowers, coming 16th in all boats with 2200 NM left to the finish line.

Ocean Reunion have been keeping their social media audiences updated, and have posted this message on their Facebook page as a response to the continually uplifting emails they’ve been receiving: “The going will get tough (it probably already has). The blisters, the sea sickness, the lack of space, the waves, the cramp, the sleeplessness, the diet – they will all push you to your limits. But when it gets dark, just remember why you’re doing this: you’re putting your bodies and minds on the line for a phenomenal couple of causes. Every stroke will inch you closer to that line.”

Atlantic Challenge continue to update their blog. The latest instalment is here, and tells us about their night-time, hallucinogenic experiences on the eerie, Atlantic Ocean! Sleep deprivation could be to blame here, and should reduce as they become accustomed to the rotations.