R4R Atlantic Crossing
The feat is something still only a small number of people have tried and even fewer completed – at the last count the Ocean Rowing Society acknowledged only 292 successful Atlantic rows. This is 10 times less than have climbed Mt. Everest, and half the number that have been into space.
The route will take them east to west from the island Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) to Port St Charles Marina on the west coast of Barbados (Caribbean). The reason for leaving in December is that prevailing trade winds blow east to west across the mid Atlantic between November and March which effectively make the crossing possible. Outside of this time frame, it is hurricane season along the south eastern seaboard of the United States which presents considerable challenges to large ships let alone small ocean rowing boats.
In addition to the Canary Islands/Barbados route, there is a second established Atlantic ocean rowing route across the North Atlantic which is determined by the prevailing winds blowing west to east during the British summer months. The North Atlantic route begins on the east coast of the United States, often New York City, with the end route a predetermined point on the south-west coast of England or Northern France. Given the less predictable and often more unfavourable weather conditions associated with the North Atlantic, far fewer attempts along this route have been successful. As such, they have decided to take the southerly route where their chances of success are likely to be the highest, even if they remain far from certain.