How it all Started:
"In 1966 Sir Chay Blyth CBE BEM rowed across the North Atlantic with John Ridgway from Cape Cod on the North American Coastline to Ireland. Their epic journey took place in a 20ft open dory named the "English Rose III" and during their 92 day passage they faced hurricanes, 50ft waves and a near starvation diet. Their voyage was a challenge, a test of strength and endurance and an opportunity that just had to be taken up".
Atlantic Rowing Race 2009
The premier event in ocean rowing - The course will take us the 2,500 nautical miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera,Canary Islands (28oN 18oW) to Nelson's Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua (17oN 61oW)
Safety is paramount to the ongoing success of ocean rowing races. Woodvale Challenge provide on water support coverage and 24hr safety support over the duration of the race. Since the first Atlantic Rowing Race, the World has taken notice of this extreme sporting activity. The race is unique and attracts individuals from all backgrounds from Olympic atheletes to the everyday person off the street.
The race structure brings together an environment where teams from across the globe gather in the race village in La Gomera. The atmosphere is electric as people help each other prepare for the challenge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
All with the same objective - to take on the unique experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat. The party atmosphere creates strong friendships and competiveness gives way to commaradery that will continue throughout the event.
But then down to the serious business of rowing an ocean. From the sunsets and sunrises to the wildlife that will be encountered first hand - the race offers different experiences to all those involved. There is a constant battle of sleep deprevation, salt sores and the physical extremes that the row will inflict. Once the safe haven and party atmosphere of port is left behind - you are left with your own thoughts, an expanse of the ocean and the job of getting the boat safely to the other side.
It's now your World. A basic existance leaving behind the memories and smells of land and dealing with the emotions of leaving loved ones behind. The focus changes to your team mate, watch systems and knowing everything there is to know about your rowing boat.
This really is a life changing experience. More people by far have climbed Everest than have sucessfully rowed an ocean in a rowing boat. You will become a member of a small community of friends that have shared the adventures of an ocean crossing.
The mental and physical endurance will result in a life changing achievement and in the closing days of the challenge - the excitement of reaching Antigua will be your foremost thought with every pull of the oars.
- from Woodvale published information.