Less than 24 hours to the start of the race, the fleet of 29 rowers gathered this morning to rehearse for the big day. This lengthy final practice session is crucial to make sure that the starting line procedures go smoothly tomorrow, but, more importantly, it gives the 12 teams a chance to run through the safety checks and initial race plans before the emotion and adrenaline kick in on the day of departure.

Re-arranged in the La Gomera harbour into their final leaving order, the teams set off into the ocean one at time, rowing for approximately 6 miles in a last practice session before heading back. In good spirits, but clearly showing the natural apprehension of adventurers a few hours before setting off into the unknown, the crews also listened to a final briefing about the initial navigation they have to do immediately around La Gomera. As illustrated below, the rowers are instructed to follow a route south of a series of waypoints between the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro in order to stay clear of the large vessels and ferries that connect the Canaries.

twac-route-001
Map of the basic route after departure.

With departure time fast approaching, some crews still need to resolve last-minute safety or communications issues before being granted permission to leave – from making sure their steering systems are working to fixing their AIS (automatic identification systems), which work as their main anti-collision device at sea.

While there are varying degrees of tension amongst the fleet, this year’s teams seem very much in control. “Some teams will show last-minute stress a lot more than others, however every year the fleets will come to La Gomera more and more prepared in terms of understanding the requirements, and also physically and mentally”, says Lee Fudge, one of the duty officers in this year’s race.

The race start is confirmed at 11:30AM GMT on the 14th of December, so follow the action and join the conversation:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TaliskerRace
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Talisker/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/talisker/
Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Less than 24 hours to the start of the race, the fleet of 29 rowers gathered this morning to rehearse for the big day. This lengthy final practice session is crucial to make sure that the starting line procedures go smoothly tomorrow, but, more importantly, it gives the 12 teams a chance to run through the safety checks and initial race plans before the emotion and adrenaline kick in on the day of departure.

Re-arranged in the La Gomera harbour into their final leaving order, the teams set off into the ocean one at time, rowing for approximately 6 miles in a last practice session before heading back. In good spirits, but clearly showing the natural apprehension of adventurers a few hours before setting off into the unknown, the crews also listened to a final briefing about the initial navigation they have to do immediately around La Gomera. As illustrated below, the rowers are instructed to follow a route south of a series of waypoints between the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro in order to stay clear of the large vessels and ferries that connect the Canaries.

twac-route-001
Map of the basic route after departure.

With departure time fast approaching, some crews still need to resolve last-minute safety or communications issues before being granted permission to leave – from making sure their steering systems are working to fixing their AIS (automatic identification systems), which work as their main anti-collision device at sea.

While there are varying degrees of tension amongst the fleet, this year’s teams seem very much in control. “Some teams will show last-minute stress a lot more than others, however every year the fleets will come to La Gomera more and more prepared in terms of understanding the requirements, and also physically and mentally”, says Lee Fudge, one of the duty officers in this year’s race.

The race start is confirmed at 11:30AM GMT on the 14th of December, so follow the action and join the conversation:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TaliskerRace
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Talisker/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/talisker/
Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.