Following 8 gruelling weeks at sea, 1 oarsman has made land and successfully completed the Atlantic Rowing Race 09, but there are still 58 competitors at sea giving their all to make land as soon as possible.
To date in excess of 52000nm have been completed, an average of 6500nm per week. The last 7 days has seen crews struggle with the weather again, but with 5 crews within 500nm of the finish, it is hoped that several of these will finish during week 9. History tells us, as have many of the crews, that in a typically race year crews have completed the distance in a far quicker time than this years race has permitted, due partly to the continued onset of adverse weather that has affected the race. The ordeals that each crew has gone through are almost incomprehensible. However, while no one would want to be at sea for longer than necessary in these conditions, several competitors have quoted, the greater the effort, the greater the reward and the bigger the satisfaction. To have a mindset like that after so long is a wonderful attribute to own.
Furthermore, as the secret weapon of Limited Intelligence points out, for 8 weeks most supporters have gone to work each morning and come back each evening; have had days off and days out and each evening have gone to bed in the hope of resting enough until the next morning. On the 4th January, some 56 days ago the lives of all competitors altered forever. They have gone through good and bad to get where they are now. Each day is divided up between rowing, eating, sleeping, routine maintenance and general resting. They are now outside of a routine world with work and bills, meetings and weekend commitments. Their only commitment is to each other and the continued effort to reach the end, which gradually gets closer and closer with each rowing stroke. It is then so great to continually hear of their exploits and breathtaking scenes. No Fear, Limited Intelligence, Dream Maker and Red Arrow all continue to be astounded by the local wildlife, commenting on the dolphins, whales and turtles in recent blogs. It could never be boring hearing of such tales each day. Furthermore it is quite remarkable how crews deal with setbacks, and cheer themselves up in the face of apparent adversity, with many crews creating games to improve morale, most notably the Beech Boys crew. The week ahead looks to provide most of the fleet with great news, with winds up to 20 knots from the East, North East and South East. With this, as stated above, several crews should cross the finish line this week and the final 3 solo crews will either pass, or get close to the half way point of the race.