Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Atlantic Challenge rowing race start delayed by gales

A team of three rowers practising for the Atlantic Challenge off the coast of La Gomera in fine weather recently
The start of the world's toughest rowing race, the 2017 edition of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, which was due to have taken place in San Sebastian de La Gomera this morning has been postponed until further notice due to northerly gales, rough seas and big swell. To quote the race organisers:
''Rowing the Atlantic is extremely challenging. It would be wrong to launch a fleet into conditions that are so extreme so early on. In order to give all rowers the best and safest possible start, the race has taken external advice and guidance from numerous sources and put the race start on hold, a decision backed up by the port authorities who would not have allowed the race to start.''
Initially there were 28 entrants for various charities to the race, from solo rowers to teams of four, but three teams had to pull out of the race at the last minute, leaving 25 boats from countries as far afield as the US and China ready to begin the 'toughest row on earth'.
International media are in La Gomera to cover the race start, including the BBC TV and National Geographic, and my guess is that they'll have to wait a couple of days until sea conditions are more favourable for starting the competitive row, as gale force northerly winds are forecast to blow until Wednesday night. This morning the weather station not far from where the race is to begin in the island's capital recorded a gust of 80 km/h at around 6 am, and about and hour later the station on the second highest peak in the centre of La Gomera registered sustained winds speeds of 79 km/h and a gust of 111 km/h.
UPDATE: The race will now start on Thursday, Dec. 14th 2017, from 11am. Read more...
Race headquarters in San Sebastian de La Gomera

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