Row2Recovery – 3 legs, 4 arms and 4,800km to row

Row2Recovery trade in the Viking Pro Indoor Rower for the Atlantic Sea

Team Trident have left England and arrived in La Gomera, ready to start their epic transatlantic journey, rowing 4,800km to Antigua. The final days of training are now upon the duo, and in this article Jordan Beecher reflects on their latest experiences as they trade in the FDF Viking Pro indoor rower for a seven-metre long row boat — their new home for the next 40-90 days.

29 November 2017

It’s the 29th of November and Jon and myself are en route to La Gomera. We spent the night packing and checking the last pieces of equipment, into the early hours of the morning. After a five o’clock reveille we got to Gatwick and jumped on a four-hour flight to Tenerife, before a forty-minute ferry across to San Sebastián de La Gomera.

The initial atmosphere is slightly electric as we arrive. At the harbour we can see the Atlantic Campaigns flags and branding adorning the marina. Twenty-eight boats; single, pairs and fours sit in a single line, their new paint work glistening in the sunshine and their teams’ national flags fluttering in a strong westerly breeze. The anticipation of what is to come hangs in the air like a transparent fog.

Our first thoughts are to check on our boat and assess any damage she might have received in transit. When we get to her she is nestled between two other British boats; the Oardinary Boys and Saddle Sea and Sand — our competition.

We check her over and she looks in good condition, but the magnitude of the task ahead dawns on us.

1 December 2017

We’ve been in La Gomera just over 24 hours and the reception from the locals and British expat communities has been amazing. Today we passed the inspection by the Atlantic Campaigns Safety without an issue and have been given clearance to start training at sea on Monday. This was a huge relief as we had been worried that we’d arrived on the island underprepared due to our work commitments taking up most of our time in the lead up to leaving the UK.

So far, our time here has been spent checking rations, applying lanyards to equipment and tools, counting consumables such as cleaning wipes, medical supplies and adhesives, cleaning the boat, and packing and re-waterproofing our electrical equipment.

The feelings of excitement and impending doom seems to be coming in waves as the days slowly count down towards the official race launch. The pressure is on to perform and not let ourselves down by inadequate preparation and it’s hard not to worry that we have overlooked something vital in our preparation. However, the weather is good, the tan is coming on and the beards are growing!

3 December 2017

Last night Jon and myself were lucky enough to be invited to dinner by a lovely British couple who live here in La Gomera. The excellent food was accompanied by some local Spanish wine and was our first chance to really take a moment and look back at what we have accomplished, not only in the last few days, but in the last year and a half.

At this point, other than our personal items and the last pieces of medical equipment we’re waiting for, the boat is packed. Tomorrow it’ll be getting launched and we will begin our training on the ocean surrounding La Gomera. In the next few days we plan to test the different rowing seats we have put together; a mixture of cut foam and padding varying from hard to soft. We hope these will keep our ‘tushes’ in good condition as we spend the next fifty-odd days sat down rowing across the 3000-mile expanse of open water between here and Antigua.

We’re also now at the point where our hotel has become a tangled fire hazard of European power adapters and extension cables twisting and curling their away around our apartment to charge the endless devices, power packs, cameras, and drone and satellite equipment needed for our endeavour.

But at least tomorrow, we will get to do some rowing!