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By Theresa Goodwin

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Two courageous young men, Travis Weste and Joseph Nunes, will depart Antigua and Barbuda Sunday for Barbados, the first leg of the two-day journey to La Gomera in the Canary Islands.

La Gomera is the starting point for the 3,000-mile Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge which gets underway on December 12, 2020.

They comprise Team Antigua Pairs and are among 52 rowers from around the world who will be participating in the challenge dubbed “the world’s toughest row” which will culminate at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua in early 2021.

On Friday, Weste told Observer that he was ready and awaiting the start of the final journey.

“Although we only trained on the boat for just a few months, we have been thinking about this and preparing our minds for some time. Past rowers have told us that the mental aspect is very important and we are at that point,” West said.

His teammate, Nunes, stated that preparation for the journey has not been without its share of challenges for his team and others who are participating in the event.

According to Nunes, they were informed last year that the race was overbooked with over 40 teams expressing interest. Things took a drastic turn following the Covid-19 pandemic in March.

“The teams are now down to 21; there are 52 rowers. Last year it was 104. Fundraising have been tough but we can say we are at the start line all we have to do is to catch the flight,” Nunes said.

Team Antigua Pairs will leave Antigua and Barbuda for Barbados on Sunday, from where they will continue on to the United Kingdom before their eventual arrival in the Canary Islands.

Nunes and Weste are the fourth team and first pair to represent the twin island nation in the event. They will be raising funds for their charity, the Rotary Club of Antigua Sundown.

Their forerunners who have successfully completed the challenge each comprised of four-members — Team Wadadli, Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers, and Team Antigua Island Girls.