With only 50 days to go until the race start, we’ve been reflecting on just how far we’ve come and the milestones we have achieved. The idea to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic started in March 2019 with what seemed like an almost insurmountable task at hand. When you talk to previous teams in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, one common thing you hear is that “the hardest part is getting to the start line. On entering the race, we had no idea about rowing and ocean rowing boats for that matter and now our beloved 24ft ocean rowing boat Persistence (Percy for short) has started to make her way across to La Gomera for the race start. This is such a surreal moment for Charlie who was thinking back to when she was last in La Gomera at the 2019 race start but wasn’t even able to walk on her own two feet having had a major pelvis reconstruction.
Now we have close to 200 hours of training on Percy and a far greater amount of blood, sweat and tears has gone into gym workouts and the indoor erg. In addition to this we have spent many hours achieving all our RYA qualifications and hundreds of hours building up our kit list, checking it twice about thirty times and ensuring we know exactly how every item works (and how to fix each item if it were to break!).
Taking on such an arduous challenge really brings out the local community spirit and we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have received help from so many people along the way. There are too many wonderful individuals to mention in this post but without all this support we would never have been able to get this far along with our campaign.
Getting to the start line feels a little bit like running your own business, something neither of us had any experience with. Traditionally lots of teams are able to secure corporate sponsors through their business contacts but working for the NHS meant that this wasn’t going to work for us. Over the last 18 months we have been working with some amazing sponsors and we have been humbled by their support and love their close ties to our story and our chosen charities.
With so few days left until the race start, it’s time for us to really focus on our physical conditioning and mindset. We shall aim to maintain strength and run through possible emergency scenarios (something we are very used to doing with our line of work). It’s also time to build the playlists, download the Harry Potter audiobooks and avoid developing any injuries.