The World’s Toughest Row
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC) is an annual ocean rowing race beginning in La Gomera, Canary Islands and ending just a “short” 3000 nautical miles later in Antigua and Barbuda.
The race calls people from all over the world and from all walks of life with around 30-40 crews participating each year. They unite in a shared objective of successfully making a crossing but more people have climbed Mount Everest than have rowed unsupported across this ocean.
In the 12 years this challenge has been undertaken this crew will join only a handful of other women ever to have attempted it with an all female crew.
In December 2022, ‘The Atlantic Girls’, Katy, Laura-Jayne, Millie and Frankie, will embark on their Atlantic Crossing.
Will you come aboard?
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge gives crews an incredible platform to raise funds for charity. Sadly, brain tumours are still the biggest cancer killer of children and adults in the UK, affecting more people under the age of 40 than any other type of cancer. We would like to help change that. So far the participants of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge have collectively raised just over €9.3m for charities worldwide since 2013 and we cannot think of a more worthy cause than the BTC. For ‘The Atlantic Girls’ it could only be The Brain Tumour Charity – a UK based charity, driving brain tumour research forward towards a cure.
25 years old, Veterinary Surgeon, Oxfordshire
Why the Atlantic?: I strongly remember bribing some university friends with dinner and pitching the idea over some form of pasta in our slightly decrepit student kitchen. That was about 3 years ago now. There was a universal ‘are you mad?’ look on the majority of faces. The whole concept of rowing ourselves 3000 miles unsupported across an ocean seemed so unachievable at the time. Of them all, Laura was crazy enough to say yes and once we found Frankie and Millie the rest was history. I am grateful for this team of like-minded women and for my family and friends who are in support of what is a rather bold endeavour. Someone said that life only really begins at the end of your comfort zone – if this is the case then I think we’re all in for the journey of a lifetime!
If I had to describe myself it would be as a coffee lover and a mild peanut butter addict with a love for almost all things outdoors, especially if water related. Born and raised in Kent, I figure my love for the sea was born through the repeated tradition of holidays down on the Pembrokeshire coast. At university I got my water fix through rowing and loved the sense of community that I gained through the team. Now, outside of my day (and occasionally night) job as a veterinary surgeon, I feel the journey to this start line will take up most of my free time. Despite that, I think I’ll forever be trying to sneak in a weekend on the coast whenever time allows!
26 years old, Veterinary Surgeon, West Yorkshire
Why the TWAC?: Personally I blame Katy and my inability to turn down a challenge, be it a silly dare or a row across an ocean. It all started with a meal at a friends house and the suggestion that we start a team to cross the Atlantic. Obviously, I was crazy enough to accept. Fast forward a couple of months and we’re rowing the Thames for three days to raise money for Parkinsons and a year later we’d found two more excellent crew mates in Frankie and Millie and had finally signed up to row 3,000 miles across an ocean. I do not think this is a thing I would have ever dreamed myself doing, but I love the ocean and one of my passions is rowing so why not combine the two. Sure my family think I am crazy but when faced with the opportunity to cross the Atlantic in honour of a fantastic charity, who wouldn’t sign up.
31 years old, Finance Manager, Bath
Sometimes in life you’ve just got to say yes to ridiculous ideas. Many moons ago there was a large part of me that didn’t think I’d make it this far down the line. In essence I thought that as long as I put my name in the hat, that was good enough for me. But in all honesty, it wouldn’t have been. I wanted to get stuck in, be a part of a crew that really gels and row the Atlantic. I know there is a lot that I need to learn and will learn along the way. I’m going into this somewhat blind as its definitely not your everyday scenario. But what I do know is that I’m very lucky to find three other likeminded girls who together form the formidable Atlantic Girls team. Alongside these girls I want to make sure I can have positive impact campaigning for our fantastic charity at the same time as going through something that is ultimately going to be an extremely life changing experience for us all.
So here I am, saying yes, and signing up to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic with the Atlantic Girls.
26 years old, Office Manager, London
Why the TWAC: I found rowing at University and instantly fell in love. It was the first sport I tried were I needed to be stronger and more competitive where previously I had always shied away from both. I soon was in the senior crew for Henley and shortly after Women’s Captain. I loved every second. It created a lot of opportunity for me and led me into endurance challenges such as TWAC, Everest Base Camp, ultra-marathons and long-distance cycling.
I’ve followed the challenge for years, read the books and watched everything I could about the challenge. I always was so inspired and wanted to do it, but I knew I needed to find the perfect crew to do it with. I was the final member to join Atlantic Girls after several years looking for people as up for the challenge as I was. I am lucky to have found the perfect crew that share the same passions for rowing, charity and challenges as I do, it is very special, and I believe why this is a dream team. I have a pretty long challenge bucket list that seems to grow longer every day, so to finally tick one off that’s been at the top of the list for years, is an amazing feeling.
Become a Partner
There are a number of ways to support us and fuel our journey to the start line and across the Atlantic. We are happy to discuss partnership opportunities with you and tailor a package dependant on your organisation’s needs or ideas. Please contact us and we’d be happy to chat through the options!
By partnering with The Atlantic Girls, you will allow us to focus on preparations for the race – predominantly physical training and equipment sourcing. With sponsors on board we can also channel more energy and time into raising money for our chosen cause – The Brain Tumour Charity.
Rowing an ocean is no small challenge and the teams require the strongest of support networks to get them across! Our campaign will only be possible with the help of sponsors, financial and through the provision of goods and services. This of course is a two-way street. By supporting us we endeavour to give back to your business. Sponsoring us will get you global media coverage, endorsement of your product/service, branding opportunities, and possibilities for corporate events.
Coverage of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge grows every year. The stats really speak for themselves! The 2018/19 race had a total reach of 52.6 million people, with even greater numbers in 2020. The annual coverage extends across multiple media platforms, with over 220 TV broadcasts made on channels including BBC, ITV News, Sky News and CCN last year. It really does really millions. The TWAC Instagram and Facebook pages have a majority audience of 25-34 year olds with a fairly even gender split.
Our Eco Boat and Sustainable Focus
Our eco boat is at the heart of our Atlantic race campaign and complements our focus around sustainability and doing what we can to have a reduced environmental impact while undertaking this incredible challenge.
We seek to expand our sustainable focus through the sponsors and partners supporting our campaign – we’d love to hear from you if this speaks to you!
We are thrilled to be racing in our ‘Eco’ Boat – the first ocean rowing vessel of its kind!
The boat is as strong and lightweight as other ocean rowing boats but her core materials and manufacture process have been adapted to have a reduced environmental impact.
Our boat compromises of three main components:
- Glass Fibre: Manufactured using 100% renewable energy
- Resin: We use a ‘greener’ epoxy with 50% derived from plant origin
- Foam Core: Made from 100% recycled plastic – there’s over 10,000 plastic bottles in there!
She is called Vaquita, literally meaning ‘little cow’, a species of porpoise on the brink of extinction. Vaquita are the world’s rarest marine mammal. The species of porpoise wasn’t discovered until 1958, and fewer than 10 individuals are thought to be left in the wild.