The record books.....
With this extended delay there has been time to get the record books out and see what honours are available for this year’s race. To be recognised as a record a row must be unsupported, that is to say that there is no physical contact or assistance to the boat from anyone other than from the rowers themselves.
The Atlantic Ocean is considered the blue riband event in ocean rowing and has a record crossing time of 33 days and 7 hours. The official race distance for the Woodvale Challenge route is 2548 nautical miles – this is the shortest distance between the start line at La Gomera and finish line in Antigua.
The Atlantic Ocean record was set by La Mondiale and her crew of fourteen when she left Gran Caneria on 15 December 2007 and reached the Caribbean on 17 January 2008. Britannia III, the out of class 12 man, will be attempting to break this record when the Atlantic Rowing Race starts on 29 December. To beat the record she will need to reach English Harbour, Antigua on or by 31 January 2010, travelling at an average speed of 3.19 knots (nautical miles per hour) which is the equivalent of 76 nautical miles per day.
Not only are crews out to win the race and each of their respective classes, but they will also look to break the record for their class. The fours record stands at 36 days and 59 minutes, the doubles class record is 40 days 5 hours and 31 minutes and the solo record stands at 42 days 14 hours and 30 minutes, although the race record for a solo entry is just shy of 69 days. Crews in these categories will need to surpass an average of 70, 63 and 60 nautical miles per day respectively to claim a new record.
As well as the general speed records, several crews in this year’s race are also vying for other records. Explore Adventures Tours, crewed by Mel and Annie will be trying to beat the world record for a ladies double standing at 50 days. If they do this they will also break the British record of 75 days.Norman and James Beech will be hoping to become the fastest father and son crew to complete the race, needing to reach Antigua within 78 days of the start. James will also become the youngest competitor to row across an ocean should they make this.Throughout the race there will be a ‘daily stat’ update to see how crews are competing against not only themselves, but also the records outlined above so check back daily to see up to date progress and tracking.