The Race

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the world’s toughest rowing race - over 3,000 miles unaided across the Atlantic Ocean.

On the 12th December of this year, four adventurous friends, Harry Hearn, Alex Soskin, Ed Batchelor and Tom Phillips will embark on their challenge of a lifetime and attempt to propel themselves unsupported from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean, a journey of 3,000 nautical miles - The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

We will be rowing 2 hours on and 2 hours off in rotation, with the ambition to break the World Record of 29 days and 15hrs. We will be pushing ourselves to our mental and physical limits all to raise much needed awareness and funds for our two special causes.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a race like no other. It is an endurance race across one of the world’s most dangerous oceans. Enduring sleep deprivation, dehydration, huge calorie deficits, hallucinations, salt sores, 60ft waves and physical and mental exhaustion as we navigate our way across one of the busiest shipping zones in the world.

The First Week - A culture shock

We are expecting the first week to be the toughest, with the sudden culture shock of life at sea, combined with sleep deprivation caused by our shift patterns and undoubtedly some levels of sea sickness. We will experience a bizarre combination of claustrophobia – due to our small boat and even smaller cabins – and agoraphobia resulting from the vast seas that will surround us. The first 24 hours have been described as a ‘dizzying blur of sensory overload’, which most rowers can’t even remember later on.

Shift Patterns - 2hrs on, 2hrs off...

We are aiming to row in pairs, 2 hours on, 2 hours off, around the clock for the duration of the crossing. The theory is that 2 hours is just long enough to get a decent 90-minute sleep cycle (although in practice this is likely to be much less) whilst short enough to maintain a good rowing pace. We also plan to stagger the shift changes so that there is some variation between rowing partners.

Seasickness - Will we get seasick?

We get asked a lot if we get seasick. Most people do suffer from some form of seasickness; however it doesn’t always surface as nausea, but sometimes is revealed as sleepiness or a bad temper. Seasickness usually passes within 3 to 4 days.

Water - What do we drink?

We will have an electronic water-maker installed on our boat which is capable of converting enough saltwater into drinking water to meet our needs each day. The 50 litres of ballast on the boat can also be used as emergency drinking water, however if we break the seals on these, we will be disqualified from the race.

Temperature - Uncomfortably hot

The route takes us just north of the equator where temperatures can near 40 degrees Celsius at times. With the added reflection of the sun off the sea, we will be taking a substantial amount of sun cream (under strict instructions from our better other halves), and long-sleeved UV clothing to protect us from getting burnt in this harsh environment. Smaller waves will make us constantly vulnerable to “lap dumps” – about a bucket of water straight in the lap – whereas the larger waves will soak us completely. This means we will have to keep our cabin doors closed at all times to reduce any risk of water ingress, leaving our tiny sleeping quarters to become a floating fiberglass sauna.

The challenge itself is the culmination of 2 years of meticulous planning, preparation, education, organising, fundraising and training.

Gaining invaluable sponsors will allow us to cover the circa £115,000 cost to get the boat to the start line to include the race entry fee, boat purchase and transport, training and courses, medical and equipment. Our aim is to raise a further £200,000 which will then be split evenly between the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation ‘CNCF’ and MIND.

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Join the exclusive ‘250 club’ and accompany us on the voyage!

For the ‘250 club’ – be one of the 250 people/organisations to pay £250 and leave your personalised message, to join our exclusive club!

Your name and personal message will be on board the boat, to remind us of who has made this epic voyage possible. Your contribution will go directly towards the costs of our challenge and getting us to the start line, allowing us to raise as much as possible for our charities.

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