The Mainland to Mainland Atlantic 4
In December 2021 Jim, Justin, Rob and Tom aim to enter the record books by rowing non-stop from mainland Europe to mainland South America, to raise money and support for two worthy charities.
The Mainland to Mainland Atlantic 4 challenge starts at the marina of Portimao, on the South Coast of Portugal. Pushing South West towards the Canary Islands, through notoriously unpredictable weather, the first 600 miles will be an unforgiving test of life at sea.
From the Canaries the team will track the African Coast, pressed forward by the Mid-Atlantic currents towards South America. Once level with the Cape Verde Islands, it's time for them to turn due West and head out across the vast Atlantic Ocean to French Guiana.
Some 3,800 miles after leaving Portugal, they will approach Cayenne (the capital of French Guiana) - where a hot meal and a cold beer will never have been appreciated more...!
The challenge is a particularly difficult one as they will be the first crew of four to complete the mainland to mainland Atlantic route in a Pure class boat. This will make it a record breaking crossing.
The row will also be longer than most Atlantic crossings as they're starting and finishing on the mainland rather than islands, meaning and extra 800 miles will be covered. The boat is a Pure class boat, so unlike more modern boats it doesn't get much assistance from the wind so it's going to be all about the rowing.
There's no stopping at the shops, or a night in a fancy hotel, so as the team set off it's going to be all hands on deck until they reach the other side in approximately 60 days..!
The boat is named Trilogy and is a Woodvale Pure 4, measuring 29ft x 7ft. She was constructed in 2010 and has three ocean crossings under her belt so far. Her construction is of sandwich laminate hull, cabins and rowing deck using carbon and epoxy.
On board there are three rowing positions and a watertight cabin at either end, along with under deck storage for food and ballast, along with further space under the gunwhales.
She also possesses an extensive range of electrical equipment including a water maker and auto helm, and safety and communication kit such as GPS, a Sea-Me, and EPIRB and VHF radios. Power comes from solar panels and is stored in two marine batteries.
Whilst the boat is kitted out, don't think for a second the crew are in for anything other than a challenge as they'll be sharing a 6ft cabin with deck space being at a premium and all personal hygiene routines take place in an area of a few square feet outside the bow cabin as the space at the stern end is reserved for the life raft. It's a good job the guys are good friends..!
The charities they're supporting are Our Blue Light and Surfers Against Sewage.
Surfers Against Sewage is a marine conservation charity working with communities to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life.
They're much more than their name suggests. Having made great progress on cleaning up beaches from sewage, the cleanliness of the seas will always remain in their DNA, but their new priority is marine plastic pollution. They work on other issues too - climate change, water quality and coastal development, but plastic pollution is huge and needs a lot of attention..!
The second charity is Our Blue Light, who work to promote the physical and mental well-being of persons working for the emergency and essential services and their families.
Tackling the personal hardships many emergency workers in the UK have to deal with, Our Blue Light is primarily composed of volunteers who themselves currently work in the emergency and essential services. They look to promote the physical and mental well-being of their colleagues and to advance the education of the public at large to the work of the emergency and essential services across the UK.
If you'd like to meet the team and hear more from them about the challenge and their motivation, you can watch the video here>>
Boat Central are delighted to be supporting the M2M Atlantic Challenge by assisting the team with the boats preparation (we're keen to keep the water out of the boat and the guys in the boat dry).
They have self-funded this challenge so if you'd like to show support, follow the progress or make a donation you can do so on the link here>>