Forty-three teams are rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to Antigua and Barbuda in the 2022 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
The teams – made up of 127 rowers representing 17 countries – took off from the starting line in La Gomera, Canary Islands in a gruelling race that totals 300 nautical miles.
They will navigate rough seas, experience sea sickness and may even have close calls with marine animals as they make their way to the finish line at Nelson’s Dockyard.
The seafarers will also raise awareness for causes that are true to them and raise money for their charities as they set sights on winning the challenge.
Antigua and Barbuda is not represented in this year’s challenge. The last national team was made up of Travis Weste and Joseph Nunes, Team Antigua Pairs, They secured 10th place in the race when they crossed the finish line on 28th January, 2021, after 47 days, 6 hours and 57 minutes at sea.
Carsten Heron Olsen is chief executive officer and race director of Atlantic Campaigns. As the vessels left La Gomera on Monday morning, he commented on the success of the event which continues to draw interest from across the globe.
“As the race organiser, it is difficult to find the right words. I’m incredibly touched, but also humbled, for us in Atlantic Campaigns to be able to be just a small part of this amazing race and the journey that our teams take on is just incredible.
“I can’t wait to follow them all the way through and be in Antigua to receive them. It’s an interesting event and it keeps growing and more and more people get into it,” he said.
The race organisers are also spearheading the inaugural Pacific Challenge which begins on 12th June, 2023.
In this challenge, participants will row 2,800 nautical miles from Monterey Bay, California to Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauai, Hawaii.
Team Antigua Island Girls, Antigua and Barbuda’s history-making rowers, comprising Christal Clashing, Elvira Bell, Kevinia Francis and Samara Emmanuel will compete in that race.