Week 3 update - Tough decisions
Crews have now been at sea for 3 weeks and spirits are generally high across the fleet. While all competitors have had to overcome problems, be they physical, electrical or mechanical, all are managing to continue on towards Antigua. It has been said on more than one occasion that rowing across an ocean is not simply a physical endeavour. It summons all available skills and thoughts to overcome problems that could manifest themselves. For many, the physical problems can override everything and to cope it is essential to find a cure that works best for the individual, whether that be adjusting weight distribution and balance on the seat to minimise discomfort or changing how one lies in the cabin to move with the boat as she lists and rolls in the ocean.
Perhaps one of the most gruelling decisions off the fleet was that of Limited Intelligence. After losing a crew member so early in the race it would be easy to stop, turn round and go straight back to the Canaries. However, they took the brave decision to carry on to Antigua and are now nearly 700nm into this incredible challenge.
To date, between the 30 crews that started the race and Britannia III the record attempt, over 23000nm have been made good, almost 750 per crew. Several crews are inside pace for a record or race record, and no doubt all crews and supporters are logging and recording mileage, not just to compare against other crews in the fleet, but to ascertain a competition date.
What is arguably the most incredible feat of the race so far is that all the crews that started the race are still on the ocean, rowing to Antigua. The race is now at a stage where there is no turning back – the only way to finish is to finish. While the two support yachts will closely follow the fleet and attend any situation, they will only go as fast as the slowest crew. That is to say no matter what happens to the sores, or the aching muscles, the quickest way to Antigua is to row, no matter how long it takes. All the time a crew can row they will get closer and closer to the finish. While the weather will change, and morale will fluctuate crews should try to keep the belief and remember the overriding goal – to row across an ocean.