The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records

 


All is set fair for Atlantic row race

August 10th 2001

THE long-awaited and eagerly anticipated 3,000-mile rowing race from Los
Gigantes to Barbados will take place in October.
The confident announcement was made this week by Teresa Evans, project
manager for Challenge Business, the organization headed by adventurer
Sir Chay Blyth, which mounted the successful 1997 challenge race for 30
two-handed boats.
The confirmation came after months of speculation about the future of
the race, sponsored by the Ward Evans insurance group, following a ban
placed on ocean rowing attempts from Tenerife by Captain Don Lorenzo
Fernndez Lopez, director of merchant shipping for the islands.
He imposed the ban on April after Russian lone rower Vyatcheslav
Kavtchenko was forcibly rescued, against his wishes, from his boat off
La Gomera in April. But it was never made clear whether Don Lorenzo’s
order was a blanket ban or applied only to lone rowing attempts.
Ms Evans made a special visit to Tenerife three weeks ago to meet Don
Lorenzo and discuss final arrangements with Pancracio Socas, mayor of
Santiago del Teide.
“I am now confident that Don Lorenzo’s order would not apply to a
properly organized event such as ours,” said Ms Evans, “and we got the
absolute all-clear to go ahead with the race, starting from Los Gigantes
marina at 10am on Sunday, October 7.” The only possible problem now is
the ability of Los Gigantes marina to accommodate the 37 boats which
have registered for the 2001 Challenge
The Challenge Business has asked entrants to bring their boats to the
harbor at Playa San Juan in the weeks running up to the start and the
first, Star Challenge, crewed by John Gornall and Dominic Biggs, is due
to arrive there next week.
From there, the entrants are expected to row their boats into the Los
Gigantes marina three days before the start in readiness for the row.
The Western Sun, however, has learned that there will be a maximum of 15
berths available in the marina at that time ­ hardly enough to
accommodate the 37 rowing boats.
However, a similar situation existed for the 1997 race and several
boat-owners cooperated to make temporary room for the influx of
rowboats. Much the same approach is expected this time.
Teresa Evans said on Wednesday: “I was assured berthing would be
available and I am in the process now of ascertaining that this remains
the case.”
Rumors circulating in Los Gigantes this week about the two Spanish
crews having to pull out from the race because they did not have the
required marine qualifications were also briskly discounted.
Ms Evans said: “Don Lorenzo has made it clear that Spanish law requires
entrants to have the equivalent of an ocean-going Yacht Masters
certificate and the race rules make a similar requirement.
“That does not pose a problem. We have arranged for entrants to do a
course, if necessary, to obtain the qualifications and they will all
meet the required standards.”

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