By Carlena Knight
One of the Antiguan rowers who competed in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is of the opinion that more can be done to honour the four teams that have participated in the race.
Dr Nicholas Fuller, who was a part of the first-ever four-man team from the island to compete in the event in 2016 was speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show when he made those comments.
Fuller added that although there is a Rowers Park which honours the four teams in a minor way, there is still a lot more that can be done.
“You go there and have an official planting of a mahagony tree. We have the first tree on the east side, near the waterfront and the other teams have their own trees, so there is something there, but it would be nice to put up some signs and so on,” Fuller said.
“I do not know if you notice outside of Woods Pharmacy there are some pictures on the display windows. I decided that, look, there should be something out there to keep it in the minds of the people so, we have all the teams up there. We can maybe have a rowboat up at the airport that commemorates all the teams,” he added.
Since that first journey for Antigua and Barbuda in 2015/16, the country has had three other teams that completed the row, to include Team Antigua Island Girls in 2019, comprising of Kevinia Francis, Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing and Samara Emmanuel.
There was also the team of Eli Fuller, John Watt, Nico Pshoyos and Scott Potter, while the duo of Joseph Nunes and Travis Weste completed the journey in 2021.
Fuller says that all four teams deserve to have their stories told and solidified for future generations, as each team has attained some sort of success and put the country on the map in some way.
“The first entry which is myself and my crew, we set the world record for the oldest team and the oldest person to ever row any ocean. The next rowers were my nephew, Eli, and his team and they came in literally within a few hours of the first team, they came second and that’s a tremendous achievement when you have around 30 boats competing and a lot of these people are professional rowers from universities and whatever.
Team Antigua Island Girls became the first all-female team from the country to compete
“The third team was the girls, so that goes without saying. They were the first all black team to row across the Atlantic which was another big plus for Antigua and Barbuda. The last team, Jojo and Travis, were the first pairs for Antigua and Barbuda to row and they came first in their class, in the pairs. So, we didn’t just do it the Antigua and Barbuda teams. They set standards and records,” Fuller explained.
The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge is one of world’s most popular and gruesome rowing events which sees participating teams from around the world row over 2000 nautical miles across the Atlantic ocean starting from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands to the Antigua Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua.