ANTIGUA ATLANTIC ROWERS MAGAZINE ARTICLEWednesday 2nd August 2017
Article Release from Chiswick High Street: "Quite a few of the teams that have competed in the transatlantic rowing race that spectacularly finishes in Nelsons Dockyard say that the 3000 row wasn't the most difficult part of the challenge. Not to belittle the enormous physical and mental challenge that comes with rowing a tiny boat right across the Atlantic, but you see, there's much more to it than that. Teams must train for up to two years putting in what often seems like an endless amount of time in the gym and up to 1000 miles of on the oceanrowing training. In between all of this exhausting training, there are a handful of IYRA and Ocean Rowing courses that have to be completed and certificates achieved in order to meet competition prerequisites.
As if all of those challenges were not enough, then teams have to raise between US $200,000 - $300,000 to cover the overall expenses of buying and outfitting an ocean rowing boat and paying for the expenses of a transatlantic rowing campaign. Of course organizing fundraising events and approaching sponsors and donors are part and parcel of rowing the Atlantic for most teams.
Other aspects of administration before you can hope to make the start line, include ordering over a million calories of freeze dried food for the team, organizing the shipping of your ocean rowing boat and flights for the team all the way to La Gomera, paying for the entrance fee, and of course carrying out required refurbishments or refitting of the boat.
Photo: Team Antigua - Atlantic Rowers
It's mid July 2017 and Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers has got five more months to complete all of this. They are planning on not only representing Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean, but they plan on getting a podium finish. It's been a hell of a challenge already but the men are confident. Eli Fuller, John Watt, Scott Potter and Nico Psihoyos are all Antiguans who've grown up skippering boats and living on the coast. The ocean is part of their identities and they are doing this challenge for many reasons but one of the most important is to raise money and awareness for local marine conservation. Each team in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge twac2017 must raise money for charity and our men will be raising money for The Environmental Awareness Group. Among other conservation protects like the Offshore Island Conservation Project, The Antigua Sea Turtle Project and The Redonda Rat Eradication Project, the EAG has recently sat down with Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers Inc and The National Parks Authority to setup and manage the "marine park" side of the NPA.
Despite Antigua and Barbuda having half a dozen or so marine protected areas (MPA), few have budgets that allow for effective management of these parks.
It's Team Antigua's dream to use their campaign to raise enough money for the EAG so that they will have more than enough funding needed to make the NPA's marine protected area as attractive and successful as the land side of their park. For more on Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers Inc, their Atlantic rowing campaign and their efforts in marine conservation please have a look at their website www.teamantiguabarbuda.com and please like their Facebook page as they prepare for the race start on December 12th 2017."
So yes, the EAG will be the (NGO) charity that our charity, Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers Inc, will raise money for, and if all goes according to plan then enough moneys will be raised for the NPA to have a nice little marine park that would have proper dive and snorkeling moorings, floating marks showing the protected area, dive and snorkel trails with underwater coral labels/signs, a coral replanting farm to aid in reef restoration, possibly a small marked "no anchoring" area where the turtles feed in the corner of Freemans Bay, a small patrol boat to keep an eye on things and to provide info to users and the coast guard or fisheries. It's time Antigua followed many of the other islands in the region that have well managed MPAs (marine protected areas) and hopefully this initiative is a step in that direction. It's all about small steps in the right direction working toward a common goal. For this to happen, we will need help. While we are working on all of this, we still need to get to the start line, and sponsorship and funding has been slow. We'd like to thank Adventure Antigua HIHO and Sugar Ridge for your bronze sponsorship commitments to our team. We'd also like to thank Epicurean, Frank B Armstrong, All Source, Al Porto, Absolute Properties, Itchy Feet, and Club Sushi for your cash donations. Many other individuals have donated cash in various ways and have offered huge help. We are over half way towards our funding goal. This thing is for us ALL and for some strange reason many past and present teams and members of Atlantic Campaigns are privately calling us "favorites" for a win. At this point nobody can know, but we know that we want to win for us all. Keep following, sharing and supporting our campaign. We hope to make the country proud and to assist in leaving a positive legacy for the marine environment and for future generations.
- Eli (currently in London).
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