Today, after many months of preparations, a team of three brothers embark on a challenge of a lifetime, rowing the Atlantic Ocean and raising funds for Tusk along the way. We’ll be keeping you up to date with their progress over the coming weeks.
The Ambrose Buoys are Louis (26), Felix (25) and Finn (23) from the New Forest. Today they join 42 other teams as they take on the adventure of a lifetime. 127 rowers from 17 different countries are starting a challenge that will take them more than 3000 miles from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain (280N 180W) to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda (170N 610W).
Inspired to take on the challenge as part of a bet with their father, the boys say; “In 2003, we were exposed to the enormity of this challenge as our father completed the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race as part of a pair. Hearing stories about the endeavour, witnessing firsthand the toll it took and experiencing the atmosphere at the finish line has done little to quell our curiosity. Rather than merely sowing a seed in our minds that we might one day embark on a similar journey, it cemented the plan and fabricated an absolute objective for us to follow in those footsteps.
“In fact, as children, we were so confident that we would not only take on the challenge but also surpass our father’s time of 59 days, that we made a bet with him! As we will be a team of three, and with the boat and much of the equipment having improved, we have normalised these factors to reach a new time to beat – 40 days. The stakes are yet to be finalised, but vary dramatically between the original bet of £5 and having to turn around and row back when we reach Antigua!”
Watch live YouTube coverage here
You can track the brothers’ progress live here.
We caught up with the brothers to find out how they are feeling as they head out onto the water:
Louis: “I’m feeling really good about it actually. We’ve completed and passed all of our mandatory inspections so are pretty much ready to go. It looks like there are a couple of storms out there at the moment, they’re not on our route, but it might make getting away at the start pretty hard.”
Felix: “I am feeling a little nervous but am mainly very excited. The first week has flown by, but we have managed to prepare very well, pass inspections and get our boat in the water. We have heard that the conditions are rough, but I’m looking forward to experiencing it and maybe seeing some wildlife!”
Finn: “The overriding emotion is still excitement. However, with a week to go I am certainly starting to get a few nerves – I suppose it’s natural when you are rowing an ocean. There are a few storms lurking in the North Atlantic which we are hoping that miss us – this probably doesn’t help with the nerves! We feel as ready as we can be and now just want to get going.”
The Challenge At a Glance
- Each team will row in excess of 1.5 million oar strokes during a race.
- At its deepest, the Atlantic Ocean is 8.5km / 5.28 miles deep.
- The waves that the rowers experience can measure up to 20ft high.
- Each rower is expected to use 800 sheets of toilet paper during their crossing.
- Rowers burn in excess of 5,000 calories per day.
- There is no toilet on board – rowers use a bucket!
- The average rower loses around 8kg during a crossing.
- In the 2018 race, solo rower Kelda Wood (Row 2 Raise) was kept company by a whale for nearly 7 days.
Every two weeks we will be reporting on the team’s progress. you can support their efforts by donating to Tusk here.