Talisker Whisky delay frustrates Antigua Rowers

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Anxiety is gripping Antigua and Barbuda’s team in the 2017 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, as the start of the event was pushed back from yesterday due to rough sea and wind conditions.
And, the forecast for the next 24 hours, (counting from last night) means there’s very little chance that the Challenge could start today.
That’s the word from Eli Fuller, the captain of Team Antigua-Atlantic Rowers, who spoke exclusively with OBSERVER media last
“It’s been quite frustrating. Half of our team was very comfortable with that decision and the other half was very disappointed,” he said.
He added that rough conditions would have been ideal for his four-member team. The other members are Scott Potter, John Watt and Nico Pshoyos.
Fuller said that’s because the team spent a lot of time training in such conditions so, the members were ready and hoping the organisers would have allowed the challenge to start yesterday. This he said, would have given the team the competitive edge.
The Challenge was scheduled to start early yesterday morning in San Sebastian de La Gomera, Spain.
But, before this could happen, the Lead Duty Officer for Atlantic Campaigns, Ian Couch, announced that it would be wrong to launch a fleet into conditions that are so extreme so early on.
He said in order to give all rowers the best and safest possible start, the race took external advice and guidance from numerous sources and put the race start on hold.
There are 24 more teams registered for the event and Fuller said they are all awaiting word while resting in the hotel room.
“Ultimately, Atlantic Campaigns and Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge made the right decision, it was their decision to make … everybody is safe and sound but unfortunately [today] is a similar forecast, extremely windy conditions, extremely rough conditions offshore … but the likelihood of us starting on Thursday is fairly high,” Fuller said.
He said he hopes that when the race starts it wouldn’t be in conditions “for smooth sailing” otherwise it would remove the team’s advantage to make the best time and get back to Antigua and Barbuda first.
Fuller said the team is doing the challenge to raise funds for ocean conservation through the means of a properly managed marine park and a portion of the money would also go towards rebuilding Barbuda which was badly damaged by hurricane Irma in September.
Antigua and Barbuda’s 2015 team made the Guinness book of world records for the last challenge with the oldest team and oldest rower on deck.

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