I think we all know that moment when we have taken on a physical task, a training session or a race when we feel like it will never end, it always happens in the last three quarters, that point where doubt creeps in. We have gone through the excitement of getting to halfway and then the realisation arrives that all that means is we have the same amount to do all again!
We have gone through the excitement of getting to halfway and then the realisation arrives that all that means is we have the same amount to do all again – and then we start to have that internal battle between stopping and keeping going.
It takes a bit of time and the fear/courage battle to get through that and then it can be like the sun comes out – all of a sudden the finish line has miraculously come into sight (literally or figurately) and we realise that there is enough petrol in the tank to make it – in fact, there can be enough petrol in the tank, mentally and physically, to raise our game once more and smash it into the finish.
That is happening out on the ocean right now; after 34 days at sea any records might have passed them by but the lads onboard Latitude 35 must all but be able to smell Antigua as it is only 134 miles away. It is still worth reflecting on that number – any race of 134 miles is a long, long way – but having rowed over 2,400 already that seems nothing.
Add in to that the weather gods have started to smile and the boat is smashing along at an incredible 4.1 knots so a day and a half and they could be in – a couple more sunrises to go.
Ocean rowing like ‘normal’ life is all about contrasts and the contrast here is still the lads at the back of the fleet who have also passed a milestone – in the last few days they rowed through the 2,000 miles to go point…..so 1,806 miles behind the lead boat.
I think numbers like that bring home the sheer enormity of what rowing the ocean means – Daryl Farmer has so far rowed just over 600 miles in 34 days, with 1,941 miles remaining he could be out there until the end of April……that is a big, seemingly now impossible, challenge. He needs the weather gods to get a massive smile on their faces and yet the weather forecast does not look great.
Row4James have secured 2nd place and are now 200 miles behind the leaders after their neck and neck tussle early on; a further 600 miles back is a ‘pack’ of 6 boats albeit spread over 200 miles and all of these will soon be under the 1,000 miles to go. A thousand miles to go!
300 miles further back again is the solo boat of Elaine Hopley, plugging away and keeping ahead of a men’s pair and two of the men’s solos. Awesome.
So keep watching as these ordinary people complete their extra-ordinary challenge….
Oh, and if you ever think that ocean rowing is something for you then get in touch to come and have a go on our boat on a river or lake or take part in a Thames Row or Coast to Coast.
If that lights a fire I can introduce you to Charlie at Rannoch Adventure who can support you getting out onto the ocean for a trial or even the ‘main event’ the lads pictured above, Tom and James, are seen having an experience session on Rutland Water – 18 months later they rowed the Atlantic – that could be you!
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