Posted by: ericandlisafroggatt | December 5, 2011

The Challenge begins

After a 24 hour wait our intrepid duo are finally underway, along with the other 16 crews.

As Ruth has already alluded to on Facebook, the rowing fraternity amongst those following may well have had this picture in their minds that up on the support yacht Aurora there would be a smartly dressed umpire, with red and white flags in hand, addressing the competitors thus…”When I see that you are all straight and ready I shall start you like this….Attention….GO”! 

Alas no. To quote the equally smartly dressed Murray Walker there was a flag and hooter instead of lights and “GO…..GO……GO!!!” or should that be ROW…ROW…ROW and keep on rowing west guys. 

So here we are waiting with so many questions. Was the buzz and adrenaline at the start greater then when on the Henley stake boats?  Have most of the crews taken the same initial route?  Will Tricky shave and if no what will he look like with a beard?  Are ocean sunsets/sunrises as amazing as people say they are?  Did they remember to feed the cat……check on the last one thanks to Cat-sitter Jack. 

Today you are stuck with my ramblings, but Eric should be back in the Principality later tomorrow night with lots to pass on and photos aplenty from the last week, as well as the send-off and start. I for one have already checked their current location on the Talisker website about 3 times whilst sitting in lectures – as of 17:03 they were 3 miles in and at 27°55’21N 17°08’30W. 

But it will be a long steady journey and whilst the dot may not seem to move very quickly, a steady stream of messages sent via the iridium link will help enormously.


  1. Brilliant news that you are underway. When you question yoyur sanity and wonder what you are missing at home, remember that it is freezing cold here and we are in the middle of a massive recession. Row south, pick up those trade winds and enjoy every minute. Best of luck.

  2. Officially I think teams have been asked to not have their sat phone numbers on thieir website to avoid worried parties clogging up the phone lines when the race organisers really need to get through. I think that receiving messages is a really great part of being at sea and so. Their number is 881631591236 if you go to you’ll be able to send them a message for free!

  3. Fantastic that they are off! …. Sorry for the silly questions but this iridium link thingy – does that mean we can send messages to them?

  4. Good luck to you both! Hope you enjoy the trip. At this time, I’m sure you are wondering why on earth you thought that this was a good idea, but I’m sure everything will settle down soon. I hope the sea and the weather are kind to you.
    We are looking forward to logging on and following your progress. We now realise what has been missing in our lives during the last couple of years when a Martin has not been on an ocean!!!!

  5. Good luck with the row Richard and Helena, enjoy everything that your journey throws at you, most of which is stretching out before you.

    God speed.

    Nice to see a few familiar “faces” of ocean row followers!

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