It has been an action-packed couple of weeks out here readying ourselves and the boat for the big departure on the 12th but with 2 days to go until the starter’s gun, we’re now ready for the off, and eager to hit the high seas. In true Oarsman style we left ourselves a fair bit of rowmin to get through, but have battled through it all. It helps that Dicky (never to be found without his trusty laptop in tow) has been compiling spreadsheet upon spreadsheet of jobs to be done and has been cracking the admin whip. There have been some long days and plenty of hard graft, but we’ve all pulled together and got everything ticked off - teamwork really does make the dream work! Some serious thanks due to Dicky’s Dad, Farmer Bill, who flew out with his trusty drill (and a whole load of kit we had left behind - Oarsmen will be Oarsmen) and beavered away for 4 days fitting fans in cabins, making seat covers and generally saving the day - we’d have been in a right pickle now without his help. Another huge thank you is due to Jim MacDonald from Mactra, the watermaker guru, who came to our rescue when we established our watermaker has packed up with only a couple of days before race start!
Aegir is looking resplendent and is the envy of the rest of the fleet. The chrome wrap saves us an extra couple of degrees of heat in the saunas that are our cabins, so that’s a major win.
There are 28 teams taking part in this year’s race and it has been great to meet everyone and spend some time together before we head out to sea. What’s more, a lot of them knew a lot more about boats than we do and are, without exception, incredibly happy to help and advise. The race entrants are a massively diverse crowd including:
· An Egyptian astronaut who has also conquered The Seven Summits.
· A Dutch national arm wrestling champion who has sailed around the world ... solo ... three times.
· 2 British lads completing the final leg of their incredible ultratriathlon “saddle, sand, sea” having already cycled the breadth of Europe and completed the gruelling Marathon Des Sables
· A kiwi 26yr old guy, Isaac, who is doing the crossing solo and has kitted his boat out with an ear-bleedingly loud sound system and around 400 hours of drum and bass music.
· A group of 4 Norwegian girls (the Rowegians) who are out to break the Norwegian record for the crossing.
As we approach the start date an inevitable tinge of anxiety is setting in, the realisation that concept is very soon to become reality. With over 3,000 miles of nothing but sea between us and a hard-earned pina colada, thoughts focus on trying to make sense of the enormity of the task ahead, and with that comes nerves, but a bit of nervous energy is a healthy thing, and we’ve spent the last 18 months undyingly dedicating ourselves to preparing for this very moment, so we’re ready... bring it on!
...next update will be from somewhere in the Atlantic (satellite communication depending)...
Over and out
The Four Oarsmen