Heads Together and Row: Day 13

24 December 2018

Heads Together and Row: Day 13

It is day 13 of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and the fleet are currently experiencing “frustrating” weather conditions according to the race safety officers. If you are following the race on the tracker you can see that many of the boats appear to have changed direction or slowed considerably. This is because strong head winds and a low pressure system has meant that many of the crews, including Heads Together and Row, have deployed their para anchors until the conditions have improved.

Para anchors are flotation devices used to stabilise a boat in heavy weather. Rather than tethering the boat to the seabed, the para anchor increases the drag through the water and thus acts as a brake.

The race safety officer has issued the following update on the weather conditions:

“We have been speaking with the crews and forecasting these conditions so although not great they are not a surprise for the rowers.

What we are seeing now is a low pressure system well to the north of the fleet. This system is gradually moving west to east and is spinning anti-clockwise. As it moves and spins it draws air up from the south and as it tracks by the fleet they will get south easterly wind turning southerly.

As the system tracks east the winds follow becoming westerly, north westerly then more favourably north easterly then eventually east north east and easterly. This will all happen over the next few days so we can expect to see the northern and eastern most crews being pulled north, slowing down then getting pushed back south and eventually back towards Antigua. Conditions are slow and frustrating at the moment but by 25 December we expect to see the winds pushing south and eventually south west. Some crews may opt to deploy para anchors but we expect only 6-8 hours of light headwinds. With the front there may be scattered showers and distant thunder storms. Humidity will be high and there will be cloud cover.

Looking forward we can expect to see similar systems coming through but having less significance as the fleet moves west and further south.

From the rowers’ perspective it is frustrating but not exceptional.

We continue to speak to all the crews and advise on best options and are always here for their calls”.

We have also received an update from Heads Together and Row who are excited to report that they have been visited by a pod of dolphins who “joined us for ten minutes or so” during an earlier period of calmer weather.

They added that “despite the weather not being in our favour we hope to dip under 2,000 miles to Antigua by Sunday evening”.

We are pleased to announce that they have indeed met their goal and have passed the ‘2,000 nautical miles to go’ marker which is an important milestone for the team.

As of 1200 GMT on day 13, here’s how the team are getting on:

Position: 22 degrees 43.12 N, 026 degrees 48.33 W

Speed/Direction: 0.3 knots @ 120 degrees (para anchor deployed)

Distance rowed: 649 Nautical Miles (746.8 Miles)

Distance to go: 1997.4 Nautical Miles (2298.5 Miles)

13th in Fours crews

16th overall

Henley Business School is working with Heads Together and Row on a research project looking at individual and team resilience. Click here to find out more.

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