Nabs has Less than 1000nm to Row!

Tuesday 1st March 2011

28 Feb 2011

News this week has been quite slow for Britannia.  They have had adverse winds and haven’t been able to make the progress they would like.  However the wildlife has been amazing this week – pilot whales, dolphins and of course Nabs’ whales.

It was great to start the week off with  “Britannia have reached the half-way point” and to be able to finish the week off on a positive note and say that as of 07:02 GMT this morning Nabs and the crew of Britannia III have only 968nm to row towards the finish. Exciting not only for friends and families to know that they will see their loved ones soon, but a huge motivator for the crew.

Our current ESTIMATED arrival date for Britannia is around the 11/12th March.  We have chosen these dates to ensure that families and friends can be in Barbados to see their arrival.  Although a few days before they should make land (going by their daily mileage), in our experience crews tend to speed up in the last few days of their crossing and we wouldn’t want families to be in a position where they miss the arrival of the boat and crew.

This week will see Nabs and the crew crossing the mid-Atlantic ridge, the longest mountain range in the world.

Since January 31st life has moved on.  People have gone to work every day, looked after their families, cooked 30 dinners and drank approximately 150 cups of tea each.  There has been a massive earthquake in New Zealand, people have been made redundant and found new jobs, babies have been born and shown their first real smiles.

And all this time, Nabs and thirteen other brave souls from all around the world have been rowing.  Day in, day out. Only resting if the weather is so bad they are forced to stop. They haven’t eaten a single green vegetable, drunk a single drop of beer or been able to eat their usual breakfast cereal with ice cold milk.  They haven’t seen a duvet for 30 days, or a toilet seat, let alone watched the television with their feet up on the sofa. They’ve had to prescribe their own medicines, ration their t-bags and drink water that’s come out of a machine.

Today we raise a glass to our intrepid rowers and wish them fair winds and smooth passage for the rest of their journey to Barbados.


The Atlantic Row Update from Britannia III

Monday 7th February 2011

07 Feb 2011 07:40 GMT

Nabs El-BusaidyNabs El-Busaidy and the crew of Britannia III Ocean Rowing boat have made good progress over the weekend.  However, with 32 nautical miles covered in 12 hours Britannia III are aware they need to step up their game in order to break the mid-Atlantic speed record.

Although well ahead of the current record holder La Mondiale, Britannia covered approximately 50nm less than their competition in the 12 hours overnight last night. Ideally Britannia III need to be covering between 80 and 100nm per 24 hours.

There are four ocean rowing boats competing for the record.  Britannia III is one of three SWEEP rowing boats currently in the Atlantic and there is one SCULLING boat.

Sculling generally refers to a method of using oars to propel watercraft in which the oar or oars touch the water on both the port and starboard sides of the craft, or over the stern. By extension, the oars themselves are also often referred to as sculls when used in this manner, and the boat itself may be referred to as a scull.

Sweep or sweep-oar rowing is a type of rowing when a rower has one oar, usually held with both hands. As each rower has only one oar, the rowers have to be paired so that there is an oar are on each side of the boat. This is in contrast to sculling when a rower has two oars, one in each hand. In the UK the term is less used as the term rowing generally refers to sweep oar.

While sculling is a fully symmetrical movement (with exception of the handle overlap), sweep oar rowing is slightly asymmetrical and many rowers strongly prefer one side to the other. The average speed of a boat increases with the crew size and sculling boats are significantly faster than the equivalent sweep boats.

Nabs suffered from sea sickness at the start of his ocean row but is now recovered and settling into his routine.  He wishes everyone well, especially Maria and his family, and is enjoying reading all the messages on the website.


Atlantic Allum Cup 2011

Wednesday 12th January 2011
Playa Famara #4

Image by palestrina55 via Flickr

In celebration of the first ever pairs row across the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Woodvale Challenge are pleased to announce a new racing event “The Atlantic Allum Cup”. On January 12 1971 the Allum cousins left Las Palmas headed for America. A drinking water shortage meant that the cousins had to cut their row short and Geoff and Don Allum arrived at Harrison Point, Barbados 73 days after setting off.

Woodvale Challenge is launching the Atlantic Allum Cup on 12th January 2011 – the 40th anniversary of the Allum Cousins pioneering row and will be putting out one of the fastest rowing boats in existence.

Woodvale will run a record campaign for the mid-Atlantic route (La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Barbados – 2600 miles away). The record will be more than just rowing hard…route selection, reaction to situations and a degree of luck with the weather all come into play.

Woodvale is launching Britannia III – one of the fastest boats ever built – a 15 man boat which crossed the Atlantic in 38 days in early 2010