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22nd Nov '05Atlantic Rowing Raceby mcp
The 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies begins this Sunday, the 27th. Ex-captains Rich Dewire and Dan Darley are rowing as team 'Atlantic Prince', competing against around 50 other crews (including Olympic Gold medalist James Cracknell rowing with BBC presenter Ben Fogle).

This week is your last chance to win £1000 by correctly guessing how long it will take! Rich and Dan need every ounce of support to help cover their costs of competing and for their nominated charities Cancer Research UK and Make a Wish Foundation, so please head to their website and enter before it's too late! The deadline for entries is the start of the race, this Sunday.
by Martin - Thu 24th Nov 2005, 9:23pm
From Rich in La Gomera:

Thought I´d grab five minutes to update you all on our final preparations for our voyage which begins on Sunday. We arrived in La Gomera a week last Sunday, and have spent a pretty frantic week and a half working on the boat to get it finally ready. We found that our watermaker had pretty much given up the ghost, and that one of our three solar panels was also stuffed, which wasn´t a good thing. Given that they´re both pretty essential bits of kit, we´ve had to buy new versions of each (a quick 2 1/2 grand down the drain), but happily they´ve arrived in time and are now merrily churning out water and power. Hurrah!

We got the boat scrutineered last Friday, and now comply with the race rules, which is nice. The boat went into the water on Tuesday morning, and we went out for a few hours in it both Tuesday and Wednesday - although it´s very heavy (about a ton), once it gets up to speed it seems to pootle along quite nicely. We´ve been getting 4 knots or so out of it when it´s been calm and we´re rowing together - obviously we´re still pretty fresh, but if we can keep up that kind of speed we´ll be happy! The oppo seems to come in the form of an Irish pair (one of whom was at the Sydney Olympics, the other is a Henley winner - and they have the winning boat from the 2003 race), a Danish pair who are long distance Danish-boat rowers, a pair of UK older guys who´ve rowed to a high level, and potentially a Brit and a South American who aren´t great rowers but who met when they came 1st and 2nd in some loopy ultra-marathon in Canada!

So anyway, Sunday it is, and we´re aiming for a good un. Don´t forget that you can follow our progress on our website -, and the full fleet´s progress on the race website You can also email us on - but plain text emails only please, and no attachments - the bit rate over a satellite phone is verrrry slow, and it costs us a quid a minute!

Lastly, our competition closes the moment we cross the start line - 10.30am on Sunday. If you´ve been holding out then now is the time to enter!! 1000 pounds is still up for grabs!

See you all soon, best of luck for the Fairbairns.
by Bryn - Sun 27th Nov 2005, 10:50pm
Bad news from the atlantic rowing race website:

At 1300 hours on Saturday 26 November 2005, Devonshire based Woodvale Events Ltd announced that the start of the Atlantic Rowing Race 2005 will be postponed until further notice due to bad weather conditions.

On the plus side,

to keep spirits high among the fleet, a sprint race against the clock of approximately 2nm in length has been organised for Sunday morning to imitate Race start.

Seems quite a short sprint...
by sarah - Mon 28th Nov 2005, 9:00am
think nm in this instance is the non-SI unit nautical mile (not nanometre)

I learned that from The Times yesterday (article about how new superplanes can carry more people, but require a much bigger gap between landing 2 of them than normal planes so you don't actually get more passengers landing in an hour)
by Richard - Tue 29th Nov 2005, 6:28pm
Start is now confirmed for 11am GMT tomorrow, now that Tropical Storm Delta has passed through!
by Martin - Wed 30th Nov 2005, 11:42am
This from Rich in La Gomera, 9am this morning. I'll be updating their website with it this evening and continuing to get anything more up there that they can send from their satellite phone as the race progresses.
I think JMG may be arm twisted into accepting competition entries until the end of today, so it's not too late to get in an entry or two...

"It looks as if it´s going to happen! We had a meeting at 4pm Tuesday to confirm that the race will start 11am Wednesday, and I´m currently writing this a couple of hours before event start. I´m feeling good, ready to go, and not too nervous! Should be an interesting first day - we suspect some of the less good teams will go like the clappers of the start just so they can say they were in the lead at one point! By the end of the first day we´ll have a reasonable idea of who the oppo is.

The tail end of Hurricane Delta provided a bit more wind on Tues evening, so we went out to practice in the waves. They´re fun! We probably had a metre and a half of swell, with winds of up to 20 knots or so, it was great. The effect they had on our speed was amazing - we were peaking at well over 5 knots and troughing and about 1 knot, without any change in power at all. Can´t wait until we get to the really big seas in the middle. Wheee!

Before we head, we´d like to say a big thankyou to everybody who has helped us to reach this point. They say that 75% of the battle is getting to the start line and we certainly couldn´t have done it without the invaluable assistance of many of you reading this. No space to name everybody, but you know who you are - many thanks.

So now we´re off to make the boat finally ready, get in, head to the start line and commence the craziest thing we´ve ever done. Will see you all afterwards, wish us luck.

Rich and Dan"
by Richard - Wed 30th Nov 2005, 7:57pm
Looks like Rich & Dan are currently in the lead, even ahead of all of the fours. They're 2 miles ahead of Cracknell & Fogle, who are in 2nd.
by Richard - Wed 30th Nov 2005, 8:07pm
Posted too soon. "All relative", one of the fours is a mile ahead of them.
by Simon - Wed 30th Nov 2005, 10:48pm
Back to first place now, but not much in it. Plenty of mentions in this press release. (Am now trying to remember when else Rich has had his name stuffed up in a paper - wasn't he a Mr Devine once?)
by Dubya - Thu 1st Dec 2005, 5:10pm
Seem to be slipping back a little this afternoon (a couple miles behind the leaders), but the gap on the crews behind is definitely increasing!
by Simon - Fri 2nd Dec 2005, 6:48am
Not a good night for the pair as they have slipped back quite a bit on some other crews.
Does anyone know of any websites which give synoptic charts for the mid-Atlantic? And are the crews getting sent weather information to help them plot a course?
by Martin - Tue 13th Dec 2005, 2:08pm
From Kate MacGregor:
Dear all,

I thought you might like to see this fabulous photo of the boys rowing in the mid-Atlantic waves this morning!!! Although those of a nervous disposition may not wish to look! It was taken by the crew of the support yacht Aurora, who paid the boys a routine visit at about 9am.
by ps - Tue 13th Dec 2005, 2:08pm
Martin said: From Kate MacGregor: (etc.)
I've put it in the gallery!
by James - Wed 21st Dec 2005, 6:23am
by Ingers - Sat 28th Jan 2006, 8:29am
And they've made it, finishing 4th in class. Legends
by Simon - Mon 30th Jan 2006, 10:27am
But they appear to be off again - are they rowing back?

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