As mentioned Eli Fuller is captain. Eli, was lucky to grow up here in Antigua in a family full of fishers, divers and sailors, so before he could talk he was out boating on the water. His first little ocean crossing was as a toddler when he joined his dad sailing down to St. Martin. His passion for being at sea has never waned and by the time he was twelve years old he was competing internationally in windsurfing. During that year he windsurfed across to Montserrat which is a 31 mile run. That was the start of a 16 year run of international competition with representing Antigua in the 1988 olympics at 16, being one of the highlights. Ocean adventure has been a major part of his identity for his entire life. He now owns and operates Adventure Antigua which is one of the island's premier excursion companies. Freediving, scuba, surfing, standup paddle, windsurfing, kitesurfing, fishing (about any sort), sailing and wakeboarding have been addictions of his. Rowing is something new but he feels that his drive and experience on the ocean will help him get the hang of it quickly. His son Skye has already been coaching him on the rowing machine! Eli is 43 years old. 6'3" and 190 lbs right now. He plans to gain 20 lbs for the event.
John Watt a.k.a "Big John" also grew up on the water. As a kid, John was a competitive swimmer but really he preferred to be fishing and snorkeling. John also grew up fishing with his dad and uncle, and he is now one of Antigua's most experienced and respected deep sea fishers. After working for over a decade in the online tech industry he recently packed it in to become a full time artisanal fisherman. However, for years he has somehow managed to work a full time job in an office, while at the same time spending about as many hours at sea catching mahi mahi, tuna, and wahoo. He's one of those unusual characters who doesn't need to sleep as many hours as the rest of us. At 6'7", John will just fit into the tiny cabin on an ocean rowing boat, but he's no stranger to tiny boats. It's not uncommon to see him fifty miles offshore on a boat about the same size as a row boat. Big game fishing is another of his passions and he has been part of a very competitive fishing team called appropriately; "Rum and Coke" which has fished in tournaments up and down the eastern Caribbean for years. As big as he is, John is a very nimble fisherman and any boat that has him onboard will do better because of him, and that goes for not just fishing boats! He is a perfectionist and does the research to get the job done as good as it can be done. Fishing (any type), freediving, scuba, sailing, travel, photography, exploring and hiking are passions of his. He feels that this challenge is also something that he will fall right into easily and is eager to get his BIG hands on the oars. John is now 32 years old, 6'7" and 230 lbs.
Guilliano Lawrence also grew up on the water. He is the only Team Antigua member with rowing experience as he and his dad would row out to fish traps when he was a kid in Dominica. As a teenager he came to Antigua to study and decided to make Antigua his home. He eventually studied electrical engineering and worked for many years in that field, however like the rest of the team, he couldn't stay away from the ocean. For over ten years he has been working on charter boats and private vessels, and with several ocean crossings under his belt already, his CV is an impressive one. He currently runs several large powerboats for property owners here on island who not only get a good skipper but also a very technical one which any boat owner knows, is a blessing. If something breaks.... this man will figure out a way to make it work. "Guilli" is known as the life of the party too and loves to organize a beach party or BBQ. Never without beach chairs, music and a grill here, we are sure that he will be the morale booster in the middle of the Atlantic whenever the chips are down. Sailing, fishing, travel, exploring, cooking, hiking, photography, camping, and having a good time with a groups of friends are his passions. Guilli is 41 years old, 6' and 210 lbs.
Nico Pshoyos also grew up here in Antigua spending all his free time on the water fishing and snorkeling. He left Antigua for high school in the USA, but returned after to make Antigua his home. He's been an artisanal fisherman for nearly ten years and is generally known to be the most productive deep sea fisher on the island with an incredible tenacity and drive. In the winter when it's too rough for big commercial fishing boats, Nico will be leaving port at 3 am to go 55 miles offshore in his little boat. You have to see it to believe it, but he prides himself on consistently providing extremely high quality line caught fish to restaurants around the island. As a former chef, he knows how to make sure his catch is exactly what the kitchen wants. Nico has helped many other fishers here to move away from methods of fishing that are unsustainable and from species that are threatened. As a small scale fisher, he sees how unsustainable fishing methods used by some fishers really make a difference out on the water. Fishing, sailing, scuba, freediving, film, photography, travel, surfing, cooking, travel, farming, and hiking are passions of his. Nico is thirty years old, 6' and 170 lbs.
These guys are all long time friends, and have all done inter island and or ocean crossings together. They have fished in extreme conditions together in small boats and know each other's limitations. They are all motivated, driven and physically strong individuals who are more at home at sea than on land. If they can figure out the ocean rowing as a team then they will be one to watch in 2017. They all agree that having a fun and safe trip is key, but they are all also in agreement that being a very competitive contender is a realistic and achievable goal for Team Antigua. Follow the Team Antigua Facebook page and this blog to ride along on their journey with them.