Record Breaking Talisker Whisky Dutch Pair Arrives At Nelson’s Dockyard

Mark Slats (right) and Kai Weidmer celebrate their arrival at the Nelson’s Dockyard. (Photo courtesy Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge media)
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By Neto Baptiste

Team Row4Cancer, Mark Slats and Kai Weidmer, set a new record of 32 days, 18 hours and 13 minutes on Thursday, becoming the first pair and team to finish the 2020 instalment of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The duo arrived at the Nelson’s Dockyard on yesterday morning, the trek being Slats’ second after having crushed the solo record in 2018.

Speaking on Observer Radio’s Voice of the People programme following the team’s arrival on Wednesday, Slats said a number of factors worked in their favour.

“So, obviously, we had a good boat and preparation is really important, and then a persistence to keep going, to never give up and to always push as hard as you can, and make every shift that you do in terms of your two hours on, two hours off row it as if it is your last one. And don’t worry about the next one because when that one comes you will do the next one again, so just look one shift ahead. If you have the right preparation, the right boat and the right team, nothing is impossible,” he said.

The Dutch pair rowed the Atlantic in an effort to raise funds for child cancer research, a cause Slats identified as being deserving of the attention.

“What we did this time is that we chose a particular research for child cancer because I think that deserves a lot of attention, so we did it for cancer and research for child cancer because there are still a lot of kids who get this disease, so it is for a really good cause,” he said.

As for his motivation to make the trip for a second time, Slats said he wanted to share the experience with someone else.

“After my first trip, I wanted to do it one more time or maybe two, but I didn’t want to do it alone again, I wanted to share it with someone. I wanted to do it as a pair, so my motivation was to do it again and to share the beautiful experience that you get at sea with someone else, and we had a pretty amazing [experience],” the rower said.

Team Antigua Pairs of Travis Weste and Joseph Nunes are set to arrive between the end of January and early February. 

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