“Three Men and a Little Boat” pull off epic journey – Team A Adventures home from Atlantic challenge
Team A Adventures – made up of Andy Styles, Andrew Cameron and Andy Sacker – became the first British trio to complete the 2016 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
This incredible effort, crossing a distance of 3,000 Nautical Miles, began on December 14, when the three men left the shores of San Sebastian De La Gomera in the Canary Islands alongside 11 other crews and finished when they rowed into Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua on Sunday after 53 days, 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Andy Styles, 51, was looking for his next challenge after completing an unassisted trek from the coast to the South Pole in 2015, so when he decided on the Talisker Race, he needed to find team-mates he knew would be able to deal with the emotional and physical tasks required.
Determination and perseverance being everything, Andy went to the other two Andys, aged 47 and 46, who had made up his crew on their 2013 North Pole Adventure. None of them had any sea or rowing experience at the time of signing up for the challenge, which really made it a “challenge of a lifetime”.
“We are three hard working, normal dads, striving to make a difference. With many heart-breaking stories between us we would like to take this amazing opportunity to raise money for charity, teach the next generation that there are no limitations and inspire the notion that with hard work, you can achieve the seemingly impossible,” the three Andy’s said on why they decided to take part in the challenge.
“This determination to make a difference is one of the reasons why SmartIPX became involved in sponsoring Team A Adventures.”
Paul Tindley, CEO of SmartIPX.
Equipment and preparation
The boats used are just seven meters long and just under two metres wide, with only a small cabin for protection against storms. All boats are equipped at the race start, and cannot take any repair, help or food and water during the crossing.
Preparations for the three Andy’s began in November 2015, boat builders Rossiters of Christchurch got onboard and sponsors were gathered, including us here at SmartIPX. Their first trip on the water, in August 2016, didn’t go quite according to plan when, with just 116 days till the Race Start, the boat roll test – where they use a crane to turn the boat upside down to see if it re-rights itself – failed.
Eventually though all the practice rows were completed, the boat and equipment passed the test of Race official Ian Couch and the team set off for Spain and the start of the journey. As well as dealing with the physical toughness required for the challenge, the three A’s also decided they’d make it a fundraising journey with the aim of helping three charities: Bowel Cancer UK, Barnardos and Joliba.
“We recognised that the triumvirate of great people, with the three Andys, first in class technology, with their Rossiter boat, and the clear processes needed to work out how they were going to row across the Atlantic, fits perfectly with the SmartIPX philosophy.
Knowing Andy Styles, it was an easy decision to back up their charity efforts and add our support to Team A Adventures.”
Paul Tindley, CEO of SmartIPX.
Now, having successfully achieved their aim, the three Andys will be welcomed home at an official dinner on March 16 at Gaucho Piccadilly, London. Tickets cost £85 and all funds raised will be going to their charities.
For more information and to secure a ticket for the welcome home dinner, email Emma (at) setpieceevents.co.uk
In 1966, British Paratroopers Chay Blyth and John Ridgway rowed across the North Atlantic from Cape Cod on the North American Coastline to Ireland. Their voyage was a 92 day battle against hurricanes, 50ft waves, and a near starvation diet, and remains a benchmark for human adventure to this day.
This trip laid the foundations for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000 Nautical Mile unsupported race from San Sebastian in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua.
Atlantic Campaigns SL is the official race organiser and the company behind The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Aside from its maritime associations, Talisker has long supported great maritime challenges, as well as fantastic charities such as the RNLI in Great Britain. It has sponsored the race since 2011 and is sponsoring through until 2018.