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Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Across the Atlantic Rowing Race


Somewhere at sea, between New York City and Falmouth, England crews of 29-foot boats are rowing across the Atlantic in the Shepherd Ocean 4's Rowing Race. Ken Adams of Smadanek was kind enough to let me know of the event, which can be tracked via the Shepherd Ocean4's website.

If you think rowing in a race of over 3100 miles is odd, then you need to take a step back and look at some of our other sports. Of course, as a former marathon runner, I find it perfectly logical and admire the effort.

By the way on July 4, the halfway point was reached by the American crew as reported here:
only 24 days of the Shepherd Ocean Fours Rowing Race 2006, Boat #2 - James Robert Hanssen crewed by Americans, Jordan Hanssen, Dylan Le Valley, Brad Vickers and Greg Spooner is the first boat to cross the half way mark in this epic test of strength and endurance.

On 10 June 2006, four courageous teams of four set out from New York Harbour, USA on a once in a lifetime adventure, to row 2,863 nautical miles across the North Atlantic Ocean to Falmouth, UK.

Competing in identical 29ft long purposely designed and built ocean rowing boats, known as the Woodvale Fours class and with a set of Event Rules governing a list of mandatory equipment, the crews are competing on level terms to win the first ever North Atlantic Ocean Rowing Race and to be the first ocean rowing crew ever to row unaided from America in to mainland UK.

The Shepherd Ocean Fours Rowing Race is one of the toughest endurance races to have ever taken place and after only 24 hours, the first crew were forced to withdraw due to boat damage caused by the pounding North Atlantic sea and the extreme weather conditions. Three days later, the remaining crews were hit by the full force of Tropical Storm Alberto, which brought winds of 50 knots, huge swells and torrential rain. This was a humbling time for these 12 brave men and the experience can only be likened to being whirled around in A washing machine whilst being powerless to do anything to aid the situation.

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