Nuts Over The Atlantic.. nearly race ready!

Back in June, we were delighted to welcome Nuts Over The Atlantic to the Fitness Festival.

Mark, Steve, Dan and Jon make up the Nuts team and they are busy readying themselves for one of the toughest races on Earth; The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Not content with taking on this mammoth challenge, the team are also aiming to raise £100,000 to support The Movember Foundation, a cause the team all share a strong connection with.

The Race: The 3,000 nautical-mile race began from the inspiring thoughts and plans that Sir Chay Blyth had whilst he was rowing the Atlantic Ocean in 1966 with Jon Ridgeway. It was 92 days of battle against hurricanes, 50ft waves and a near starvation diet. It's no surprise then that more people have been into space, or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic. It takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation.

The Food: One of the most important aspects of ocean rowing is meal planning. An ocean rower can burn up to 6,500 calories after 12 hours of rowing, per day. An average of 60kg of dehydrated dry food will be packed onto the boat per person, with an additional 10% wet food as a contingency. The team will hydrate their dry food using fresh water converted from one of two Desalinators on the boat. As well as being packed full of nutrition, these meals need to be easy to digest, after all, these may be the only thing to look forward to in a day after so many weeks on the big blue.

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The Weather: The races are timed to begin shortly after the Atlantic Hurricane Season finishes, but this doesn't mean the guys get off lightly; Tropical storms will be racing across the Atlantic, creating changes in air pressure and drastically changing the ocean currents, generating up to 40 foot waves, with gale force winds, and nothing more than a para-anchor to prevent the team from rolling down the boundless whitecaps. Atlantic storms can last anywhere from an hour to days, seriously effecting the progress made, with the potential to run off course by over 100 miles. As well as having the storms to contend with, there is also the sun; with a beautifully clear day and lack of cloud cover, comes blistering hot rays and the beginnings of salt sores, dehydration and what may seem unbearable heat!

The Boat: At 9 meters in length with 2 compartments for sleeping and storage; the ocean rowing boat is a hostile environment for 4 ordinary men. The bedroom is 2x1m and can uncomfortably fit 2 rowers during their 2 hour sleep cycle. The deck, home to 2 rowing stations, harbours the remaining 2 team members during their row cycle. With limited space, the team must use the space as effectively as possible. The boat will be bursting with as much equipment as necessary, taking the average 350kg boat to over 1000kgs; which means the team will need to learn how to handle the boat in all situations.

The world's toughest row is back! The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge will be back on the 12th of December 2017, pitting an incredible 29 new teams of rowers against one of the most fearsome oceans - in what's considered The World's Toughest Row.
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On Friday 17th November, the SWEAT Southsea team and community will be embarking on a 48 hour combined indoor row in aid of Movember and in support of the Nuts Over The Atlantic team. Find out more at www.sweat.fitness/events

LUKE NEWTON