Yorkshire Rows: How do you survive an Atlantic crossing?

The Yorkshire Rows Atlantic 2015 team from left Janette Benaddi, Niki Doeg, Frances Davies and Helen Butters. Pictures by John Bates.
The Yorkshire Rows Atlantic 2015 team from left Janette Benaddi, Niki Doeg, Frances Davies and Helen Butters. Pictures by John Bates.
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The Yorkshire Rows team are preparing to embark on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. Spending so long at sea is a challenging assignment. Surviving requires shrewd management of time and resources. Here we examine the key areas...

Food

Around 7-8,000 calories a day will be used up by the ladies and they need to replenish those levels to avoid becoming unwell. There needs to be sufficient food consumption, estimated at 6,000 calories per day if possible and these supplies are the biggest weight that they will carry. The food will be similar to what mountain climbers eat - with hot water, if available, or cold water poured on sachet contents. There are also snack packs on board, which will include a mixture of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Samples include protein bars, chocolate, nuts and dried fruit. Drinking water can be produced using a watermaker from sea water.

Sleep

The ladies will be rowing in pairs on two hour shifts. Their routine will involve a repeating cycle of rowing for two hours, eating and sleeping for two hours. When they are on a two-hour break away from the rowing then they will aim to have at least an hour to 90 minutes of sleep. There are other tasks to complete though, ranging from water extraction to filling in a log book. They will be sleeping in a cabin, with two of them squashed in there, which would be especially uncomfortable in troubled waters.

Medicine

There is an extensive list of medicines which will be on the boat, making this the second biggest weight that the team will carry with them. They are preparing for any eventuality as they know that an emergency pick-up could be 48 hours away from them. There are a huge range of antibiotics. All of the ladies have been checked for heart disease with scans and echoes having been undergone.

Energy

Solar panels produce the energy. This has to be managed carefully. A lack of light means that they could be without any, at least on a short-term basis. As well as needing energy for their phones, they are also taking ipads and music with them so that they can try to enjoy some leisure time when they have a chance.

Toilet

The toilet is a bucket and there are two of those on the boat. The group needs to avoid a scenario where the buckets are washed away.

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