TEAM ANTIGUA ISLAND GIRLS DEPART FOR 2023 PACIFIC CHALLENGEMonday 29th May 2023
Team Antigua Island Girls left the country on Sunday, May 28, 2023, for the first leg of their journey to competing in the inaugural Pacific Challenge put on by Atlantic Campaigns.
The team will spend two days in Miami finalizing their row essentials before heading to Monterey, California, which is the starting line for the 2,800 nautical-mile row. The teams leave Monterey Bay and end in Hanalei Bay on Kauai, Hawaii.
The sendoff was intimate, with just family, and it was characterized by mixed emotions—prayerfulness, pride, nervousness, especially on the part of the relatives, and a tinge of sadness from the team, since their numbers were reduced to three. Owing to pressing, personal reasons, Elvira Bell-Bailey won’t make the row. She will now pivot to joining the support team.
That notwithstanding, the trio of Christal Clashing, Samara Emmanuel and Kevinia Francis will fly the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, and they will do so proudly.
“For our Atlantic crossing, our mantra was no matter what happens, just keep rowing, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to turn the disappointment of being reduced to three to fuel,” Francis, the team captain, said.
Rowers are due in California no later than June 1, where they will go through final paces, including inspections and briefings and land-based training ahead of the June 12 start date.
As they departed, Team Antigua Island Girls made a plea for support. “We’re asking people to rally around us, morally and financially, as we’re still short of our fundraising goals. We’d also love to log on when the chance presents and see our people pulling with us with words of encouragement,” Clashing said.
The team thanked sponsors Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Budget Marine, Cool and Smooth, Eubegood2, Jumby Bay Island and Kennedy’s Club Ltd.
Shell Beach Marina, Antigua Slipway, State Insurance Company Ltd, and Seagull Inflatables are also integral in the team’s participation.
Donations to Team Antigua Island Girls may be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/team-antigua-island-girlsback-on-the-row-again and Caribbean Union Bank, Acct # 20004631.
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