Female rowers leave Antigua today

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Team Antigua Island Girls is one step closer to becoming the first team of women from Antigua and Barbuda to take on the world’s toughest row, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
The women will depart Antigua today ahead of the December 12 race day.
The male Team Antigua took 30 days, 2 hours and one minute to row across the Atlantic last year and now Team Antigua Island Girls for TWAC 2018 comprising Samara Emmanuel, Christal Clashing, Junella King, and Elvira Bell will be led by captain Kevinia Francis and they all have their sights set on bettering that record.
“It won’t be for lack of effort. Yes, we have a very strong will and determination. Based on our training and based on what they have told us we think once we fare with good weather like they [the team from last year] had, we think it is very possible,” Francis said.
This is the third Antiguan and Barbudan team of rowers to take part in the  Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The event starts in La Gomera, Spain on December 12. The team has been training since February of this year.
The current women’s record is held by a Chinese team that finished their race in 34 days.
Francis is confident that her team can smash that record.
The women’s successful row will raise funds for Cottage of Hope which is the charity they selected. Cottage of Hope is a non-profit organisation founded in 2009 that houses and/or serves girls who have been abused, neglected or orphaned.
“It’s been going really well, we have spent a good amount of time with the girls, we check in with them from time to time. It is an amazing feeling we are doing the challenge, the reason we are doing it, they are appreciative of it, they are supportive of our challenge, we have given them something to look up to as role models and that is empowering,” a member of the team said.
The vessel the women will use is the same boat the men from Team Wadadli used last year. The boat is now in England being retrofitted for the long haul.

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