TEAM WADADLI RETURN AND THE ATLANTIC CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED AS AN ANNUAL EVENTThursday 11th February 2016
Team Wadadli: (left to right) Dr Nicholas Fuller, Archie Bailey, Peter Smith & JD Hall. Photo via Atlantic Campaigns
Article by Alison Sly-Adams
At approximately 2:00 pm local time on Wednesday, for spectators awaiting the return of Team Wadadli in Nelson;s Dockyard, the first horns began to sound as the team rounded the Superyacht dock on their final entry into the marina. They crossed the finish line officially in 52 days, 9 hours, 9 minutes and have entered the Guinness Book of World Records twice: First, for being the oldest team to row any ocean; and Peter Smith, aged 74 for being the oldest person to have ever rowed across any ocean.
The feat is nothing short of amazing. They looked happy, smiley and of course bearded, but adrenalin had them standing tall as they were officially welcomed back to their home by the Governor General, Dr, Rodney Williams, Prime Minister, Gaston Browne and other members of the cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda as well as an adoring crowd of hundreds. Their steak and beers had to wait!
The first speech on stage was from the CEO of Atlantic Campaigns, Carsten Heron, the owner of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, who aside from welcoming the team home and into the record books, announced that the Atlantic Challenge is now going to be an annual event.
A large crowd gathered to welcome Team Wadadli home. Photo via Atlantic Campaigns.
For Antigua and Barbuda this is an incredible announcement. For weeks we have followed the success of the challenge from a marketing standpoint and for some years have been very vocal about its amazing impact on the promotion of our tiny twin island nation. Although the number of boats are 26, which by the way is the biggest ever this year, is not huge, each team brings with it its own marketing machine, PR agents, film crews and entire states, counties and countries following their teams progress and stories. If an assessment on media value alone was done, this would run into the millions. Literally, coverage our hard earned EC$ can’t buy. This is nothing short of phenomenal!
And what of our future rowers, there is no doubt that Team Wadadli Rowers have literally inspired a generation of people as Eli Fuller so eloquently put in his blog this week. On an island where business as usual is that adventurers of the world row, sail and fly to, out of the blue, one very small boat of 4 men has shown us that we can be adventurers too. So the only question now is ‘Who is next?’.
It doesn’t end today however, let’s keep showing the world we can welcome everyone with open arms, just like Wednesday morning, when the first single rower, Matteo Perucchini arrived in to an amazing crowd.
Keep track of the remaining rowing teams and get ETAs on their arrivals on the Atlantic Campaign Facebook Page.
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