Race diary - The week leading up to departure!

Written by the Entrepreneur Ship Support Team


10th December

Launch time is confirmed!
At 12:10 on Sunday the 12th December 2021, our fearless duo will launch their boat in what may be the most memorable lunchtime of their lives!
To avoid all the boats racing off at the same time and banging into each other like a 1970s Le Mans start, each vessel is assigned a three minute slot. That slot allows them to push off, row to the mouth of the harbour, wave goodbye to their loved ones, and begin their historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean in the 2021 Atlantic campaigns Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge!!
The race start will be streamed LIVE on the Atlantic Campaigns FACEBOOK feed! So make sure to follow them now! If you miss it we’ll share the video after the fact on the Entrepreneurship Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds.

9th December

Strong winds blew across the canary islands yesterday and by the afternoon they were gusting up to 30 knots!

Those winds coincided with Guy and David’s confirmation row (their final practice row before launching), and so were told they were not to leave the safety of the marina.

The boat that our amazing duo have is a Rannoch Adventure R25 and it is perfectly designed for dealing with the most challenging conditions, including far in excess of 30 knots. These boats can take advantage of positive winds and cut through negative winds, they are supremely strong and well built, and if they capsize, they’ll self right. But 30 knots in the middle of the ocean where there is plenty of space to drift, or even to capsize and self-right is very different to 30 knots near to shore.

Oceans react very differently closer to shore than they do in the deep sea; shore side waves tend to be steeper and can be more violent…and then there is the slight issue of the sticky up bits that we call ‘land’, that would make their day less than optimal should they be blown on to it.

It was disappointing to not get out for that important final sea trial, but success in this extreme adventure world is so much about how you cope with change, with failure, with unexpected news, and so without hesitating the pair worked hard on things they could do on land – namely, communications testing, and repacking the boat so it is nicely balanced for launch.

And that launch? It’s a mere three days away!!!

8th December

Yesterday Guy and David spent their time working through all their communications kit.

Just a few miles from land, mobile phone signal will drop from 4g, to absolutely-no-g, and so sending a quick message back to the shore crew requires a variety of clever bits of kit.

A key piece of that kit shown in this image is their BGAN device from Range Global Services. This rather innocuous looking square block is essentially a satellite connection that will allow them to send imagery and videos back to us directly from the ocean. This means that we will hopefully able be share some of the incredible seascapes that Guy and David will be immersed in throughout the crossing!

With just four days remaining, the chaps are making their final preparations. Hopefully they will get out for a test row in the Atlantic today or tomorrow, and once that is complete, they can focus on mentally preparing themselves for what will surely be one of the most incredible adventures imaginable.

And with that clever grey square in David’s hands, we’ll get to hitch a ride and experience it all with them!

7th December

Things are going well in La Gomera, the boat is mostly packed up, and it’s in the water!

It’s going so well that yesterday Guy and David even had time to get some exercise in.

Guy got in some rowing over in the ROWBOTS gym (an on site rowing specific centre) and David got out for a 7 mile run with Team Peninsula, also finding time to snap some absolutely stunning photos!

What this pair are about to take on is nothing short of phenomenal. Being a few short days from the beginning of an ocean row can be scary on it’s own – but with these two, if successful, they will be the oldest pair to row any ocean, and that only magnifies the thoughts and feelings that are swirling around their heads.

Working out helps to keep them physically fit, but also mentally fit, and at this stage, the latter is crucial.

6th December

Yesterday we saw that Guy and David’s fabulous rowing boat has left the land and been dropped into the Atlantic waters that flood into San Sebastian port in La Gomera. The next time it’s out of the water should be in Antigua!

Getting the boat from the land to it’s dock in the water is quite an operation, one that was captured in these brilliant photos by Guy’s wife Nicky Rigby and ocean rowing coach Rowing Roy

A giant hoisting structure on wheels that looks like a cross between a crane and one of those giant four-legged robots off of Star Wars, comes along and scoops up the boat using two specially design slings that can be lowered and raised mechanically. It drives the boat out over the water and gently lowers it in.

Once in the water it’s up to the rowers to row their vessel to their allotted docking point.

The issue with this is that ocean rowing boats can be pretty challenging to manoeuvre in tight spaces. They’re absolutely excellent at travelling thousands of miles in a straight line, but tight manoeuvres in a port require some careful steering and well-timed oar strokes. So to help the rowers out there are Atlantic Campaigns jet skis on hand to nudge the boats into position should they need it.

Did Guy and David need a nudge? Of course not! All that practice on the water immediately came into good use as they navigated their Rannoch Adventure rowing boat ‘Lily’ perfectly into place!

Six days remain until the start of this incredible race – and everything is going very well!

5th December

What a moment!

The good ship Lily (Guy and David’s incredible rowing boat) has been lowered into Atlantic waters!

As she was carefully lowered down via a hoist, Guy stood strong at the helm watching over proceedings and preparing to steer the boat once it gets it’s bottom wet.

And now that Lily is in the water, she is not due to get back out of the water until she reaches Antigua!!

Incredibly exciting times in The Entrepreneur Ship camp – less than 7 days remain before the Atlantic Campaigns Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is due to begin, and our team are raring to go!

David & Guy will row out from La Gomera in the Canaries on 12th December. They hope to arrive in Antigua by the middle of February. Please give generously at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-entrepreneur-ship