Day 17 – 31 December, 2018
Row4Ocean – World Record Attempt to row 2305nm – Africa to South America. Port of Departure: Dakar, Senegal, Africa – Port of Arrival: Paramaribo, Suriname, South America.
Team: Patrick Bol, Lewis Knollman, Andrew Ruinoff, Matt Wilds.
On Sunday 30 December, the Row4Ocean team past the halfway mark in their attempt to break Atlantic rowing records and raise the awareness for plastic pollution in our oceans. The four-man team and their rowing trimaran ‘Year of Zayed’ are all well, but both man and machine bear the scars of their epic adventure. The team continues to battle power issues on board and fatigue for both the rowers and their equipment. Sea conditions have been confused and lumpy and the team are constantly getting a soaking on the rowing deck. At 1200 UTC on New Year’s Eve Row4Ocean was just over 1000nm from Paramaribo, Suriname.
Nick Leggatt on board Supertramp, which is shadowing the team, spoke to all four rowers for their thoughts and feelings having passed the halfway mark.
“It feels good, but I am not really focusing on half way, I just focus at my rowing set because it is just too big a picture to look at,” commented Andrew Ruinoff. “I am just focusing on what is going in around us, because you can be going really well and then you run into headwinds and you are not going anywhere, so if you focus on your up coming session, you can departmentalise everything and get through each set one by one. I feel physically and mentally good.”
“Passing halfway is definitely one of those milestones that you want to get to as soon as possible,” commented Matt Wilds. “It’s all downhill now, and every mile you tick off is another mile towards the celebration in Paramaribo. We were thinking about celebrating the halfway with a swim but it is so rough that you don’t need to get wet with a swim! Night time is quite tricky because you can’t see the waves but all is good, we have done half and we can do the other half.”
” I am more concerned with passing 1000 miles to go than the halfway mark,” commented Lewis Knollman. “Psychologically seeing triple digits will be a bit more satisfying, and we will be planning a big push. Everyone has made the halfway mark in pretty good shape, we have battle scars on our bodies but everyone is dealing with it pretty well. A little bit disappointed with the boat speed but when we are up against the wind and the current there is nothing you can do….we are praying to the sea gods. Things on the boat keep breaking , the stove has stopped working so we are eating cold meals but that is the right of passage, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“It feels great to pass the halfway mark but the course that we are rowing at the moment is tough as we try to get north. We hope that these beautiful waves will help us celebrate the halfway point with some surfing.” commented Patrick Bol. “Last night was tough, big waves and nothing to see in complete darkness…We will keep on fighting.”
For friends and family following Row4Ocean, we hope to speak to Patrick for more news in our next update. Thanks to Xtra-Link for project managing the radio and satellite communications and Inmarsat Global for providing the connection.