The Challenge

5th May 2016





Crossing the Atlantic is never an easy undertaking, but people have been making the journey for hundreds of years. The very first crossings were made to discover and explore new lands. Today, most crossings are made by huge cargo ships exporting essential commodities across the ocean.

But some daring people choose to cross the Atlantic to test the limit of their physical and mental strength; to achieve something unthinkable.

The idea of the Atlantic Challenge race came to Sir Chay Blyth whilst he was rowing the Atlantic Ocean in 1966 with John Ridgeway. It was a 92 day battle against hurricanes, 50 foot waves and near starvation.

It’s no surprise then that more people have been into space, or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic. It takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation.

That’s why the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the world’s toughest row.

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Before even getting to the start line and launchiSea survivalng the boat the team need to hit the books and be validated and qualified for RYA Yacht-master Ocean Theory, First Aid at Sea, Sea Survival and a VHF Radio Licence, by many standards this is a huge learning curve.

The physical training for such an undertaking is going to be tough enough to be its own challenge. Early morning starts with rigorous cardiovascular exercise, followed by a strictly balanced breakfast. The team member will still be working their regular hours as dentists. Mid day will encompass another, albeit short, cardiovascular session and lunch. After the working day it will be time to hit the gym and carry out an intensive weight training session.

A few days a month the team will be seen rowing on the river Dart, and along the Riviera coast. This will hopefully give some experience of distance rowing on the sea, and will help them get accustomed to what life will be like on the open ocean.

Even with the training complete, the row across the Atlantic will take nothing short of a monumental effort. Justin and Azud will be battling against extreme weather, huge waves, baking heat, and even encounters with large marine animals. Our rowers will need to consume 15 litres of water an 10,000 calories a day to fuel their journey for the 3000 mile row from San Sebastian in La Gomera to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua.