Team Antigua is currently four guys who fish and sail together here in Antigua and who are planning to be part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in the winter of 2017/18. However, there's much more to it than just that. Eli Fuller approached three long time friends a month ago with the idea of organizing a team and they all immediately confirmed that they were interested. In fact, they had all seen arrivals of other teams this year and in years before and had all talked about the prospect of doing it. Before approaching the guys, Eli had gotten some major encouragement from various people to keep the momentum going from the Team Wadadli Atlantic Rowers campaign. One potential sponsor eventually made an offer that started the ball rolling.
At this point, the new team is still in the info gathering stage and is making all the important decisions which will steer their campaign along the way to the start of the event in the Canary Islands in December of 2017 through to their arrival in Antigua early in 2018.
The guys have decided that they want to be very competitive, so that is a big part of the overall goal. However, winning the #twac2017 isn't what the team is only about though. Team Antigua wants to have a strong environmental message and to use their Atlantic rowing campaign and eventually their successes as mechanisms to both create awareness about and to raise money for environmental conservation. Especially marine conservation.
Each of the guys works in the marine environment and relies on the health of Antigua and Barbuda's natural resources. They all care deeply about marine conservation and environmentalism. They feel that each person can make a difference, and they know that this campaign can accomplish so much to create awareness of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of our nation's marine ecosystems. They understand the dangers of the challenge but have always lived lives seeking adventure, and they feel that this is adventure and sacrifice is not just for them but for everyone following and more importantly it's for the greater good of future generations of Antiguans and Barbadians.
Each potential member of this new team could be described as fiercely driven and competitive. In fact, all have been involved in competitive sports and wild adventures at sea. Each of them is more comfortable at sea than on land and tiny boats in rough seas are nothing new to them. This team is made up of some ideal ingredients to make them a real contender for the #twac2017.
The new team knows that they can't possibly accomplish this on their own. Team Wadadli's success was not just because of four incredibly strong men. It started that way, but their success was boosted by a group of undercover men and women working behind the scenes to promote the team and to help them raise money for their charity.
Team Antigua wants "the team" to not only be comprised of four rowers, but equally as important, it has to be made up of a strong and well organized shore based group of men and women. Dr Fuller sometimes talks about just how much work it was for him and laughs saying that the easy part was the rowing! It takes a huge amount of time and resources to get to the start line well prepared and then there's the fundraising and constant media PR, weather reporting, and other admin that goes on when the rowers are at sea.
This effort is in its genesis and has quite a bit more development to go through before they can say that Team Antigua is ready for business. It's all coming together though, and we can tell people that after extensive research on boat designs and manufacturers, phone calls, emails and face to face meetings, we have decided not to order a new boat, but rather to purchase Dr. Fuller's Team Wadadli boat. He always intended that WA'OMONI stay in the hands of Antigua and Barbuda, so this will be great to see the boats legacy continue. This boat is a very competitive design and was the same design used by Team Ocean Reunion to win the TWAC2015. Having it here gives us the opportunity to immediately start training without having to wait for one to be built and shipped.
Team Wadadli is showing a film very soon (announcement imminent) which shows their epic 3000 mile journey across the Atlantic. After this showing, Team Wadadli will hand over the torch to Team Antigua and our in water training will commence.
Video, photos and plenty info coming soon.
As we're still getting ourselves started, we've decided to wait until our first row before we introduce the team. All sorts of things can change in a campaigns infancy including team members. Join our Team Antigua Facebook page to follow our odyssey.