The Atlantic Ocean Rowing Race 09 has now started
After all the delays and set backs to the race over the last month, the crews for the Atlantic Rowing Race 09 have made it off the start line and are now heading towards Cape Shirley off the south coast of Antigua. The official race distance is 2548 nautical miles and is expected to take anywhere between 40 and 90 days. After 2 hours of racing it was reported that QBE Insurance Challenger, crewed by James Croome and Oliver Back, had a narrow lead of several hundred feet. Closely followed by Pygram, Reason Why and No Fear.
Britannia III, the out of class record attempt started their row at 0530 hrs this morning. Having been rowing for 11 hours they are now clear of La Gomera and are 2535 miles from Cape Shirley. While this is only a gain of 13 miles on the official race distance they are on a course of 205 degrees. That is to say, they are heading South South West, towards the stronger trade winds and currents. With this in mind, the first few days may show slower progress towards the finish, where the priority is clearing the islands and getting the boat into a position to make best use of these winds and currents.
Now all the hard work and preparation over the last couple of years takes the back seat and the reward of trying to row an ocean is firmly on the agenda. The priority for all crews now is to settle into their new environment and get into the routine of rowing, eating and sleeping.