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Wednesday 12th February 2014

On Thursday evening Sugar Club at Sugar Ridge Resort played host to some of the incredible people who have rowed 3000 nautical miles from La Gomera in the Canaries to get to Antigua. The resort, and specifically its manager Keith Martel, wanted to take the opportunity to recognize the achievement of some of the rowers in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Of the evening Martel said “I feel the rowers deserve more local recognition and we also wanted to provide the platform to raise much needed funds for Antigua and Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR) who meet every boat as they arrive”. A total of over EC$1500 dollars was raised.

Compere Andy Liburd introduced Carsten Heron Olsen of Atlantic Challenge Campaign and introduced four of the incredible rowers: Team Prosecta, Jimmy Strandberg and Fredrik Nilsson; and Team Atlantic Inspiration, Viktor Mattssen and Scott Etherington. The teams, who achieved the crossing in 60 and 61 days respectively, shared the remarkable stories of their crossings from the lows including capsizing and losing all their electronic equipment, to the highs of opening gifts from family and friends on Christmas Day to finally seeing the bright lights of Antigua and knowing that they were only days from reaching their final destination.

Olsen explained to the large audience how big the reach is in terms of worldwide exposure for Antigua of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge as there is international coverage taking place practically daily. It is also incredible in terms of economic impact as groups of up to 24 people arrive to greet their loved ones on arrival and spend time and money enjoying all Antigua has to offer while here.

The evening was open to the general public and hotel guests were able to meet and listen to many of the remarkable experiences from the rowers as well as to ask questions.

The 2014 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Rowers have respectively raised more than US$ 2.5 million to date which Olsen expects to increase once they arrive back in their respective countries. The last pairs team is still at sea having suffered a broken rudder. The two girl team of Hannah and Lauren have been at say for 65 days and are estimated to have a further 30 days to go before their warm Antiguan welcome.


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