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The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

And they're off! The 2015 race launches...

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is known as the world’s toughest row. And for very good reason.

To row the Atlantic is a true test of human endurance. Only around 500 people have successfully completed this journey - around the same number that have been into space.

The first ever ocean rowing race saw 30 teams depart Tenerife in 1997, although the Atlantic Challenge has a fascinating history dating back over 100 years.

Ocean-Reunion-3-LtoR-Angus-Barton,-Jack-Mayhew,-Joe-Barnett-and-Angus-Collin

This year, 26 teams are embarking on the journey of a lifetime. A 3000 mile row from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Antigua, Caribbean, the race could take between 40-90 days to complete. Weather permitting, the race will begin in the next few days, meaning the rowers will be away from their families over the festive season. To complete the challenge within 90 days, each rower will have to row 2 hours on, 2 hours off, 24 hours a day, with the threat of 40 foot waves, capsizing, pain and solitude looming ahead of them.

So why on earth (or water!) would you want to take part in such a grueling competition?

Adventure. Challenge. Friendship. Pride. These are some of the words used to describe the epic journey that persuaded the rowers to sign up. Pushing the body to its physical limits forms a huge part of human history, and it appears this drive for success shows no signs of slowing. 

To enter the race, you can either row solo, in a pair or in a team of 4. One of the teams from the fours category includes 4 working Mums from Yorkshire. Former competitor and double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell had some advice for them about how to maintain their friendships after such a long time together in very small quarters: “You’ve got to manage your relationships - don’t be big girls about it!”

Yorkshire-Rows-L-R-Janette-Benaddi,-Helen-Butters,-Frances-Davies-and-Niki-Doeg

Talisker Whisky distillery manager Stuart Harrington has a message for all the brave rowers ready to push themselves to the limit

“We think we have it quite tough here, living on this island, but it’s nothing compared to the challenges you guys are going to face, you’ve done well just to make it to the start line! So from everyone here at Talisker, good luck, and we’ll see you at the finish”.

Click here to watch Stuart's message in full.

For more information about this incredible challenge, and to keep up to date with the latest race information, visit www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com