Updated: Jan 9
What an incredible week … In just 7 days Mark and Kai have rowed more than 500nm, extending their lead on the nearest boat to over 115nm!! Which is roughly a 36 hour lead in terms of rowing time!!! They continue to lead from the front and just keep getting faster and stronger as the days turn into weeks.
What we are witnessing is two professionals at work, there is nothing erratic or irrational about anything they do. Maria’s speed and course are consistent, persistent and deliberate. Every single element of their performance is a calculated decision with one aim always in mind – to be as fast as possible (while being safe of course!).
Our two heroes have now rowed a staggering total of 1,150nm and the whole TWAC2020 fleet is currently spread over a distance of more than 750nm. To put this into perspective, that’s the distance from Amsterdam to Romania!
While the stats speak for themselves it needs to be highlighted that it hasn’t been easy rowing over the last 7 days. At night especially it has been difficult conditions with limited moonlight and at times a challenging cross swell meaning blade placement and technique is equally just as important as our team’s strength and power.
The main challenge this week was to get as far west as possible before a big low pressure system came down and created havoc for the fleet. The boats further east would experience strong westerlies (head winds) while the boats further west would get strong northerlies (wind on beam). However, there was a small chance that if our Dutch Duo could row hard enough and row smart enough they would in fact be able to get so far west that they would actually be able to benefit from the low pressure system with north easterlies (tail winds)!! Well, Mark and Kai did just that, they rowed so incredibly well and took an excellent course which meant they were positioned perfectly to benefit from the system that could have quite easily added days to their ocean row!
At this stage in the game the guys are without doubt suffering from sleep deprivation, all sorts of aches and pains as well as spending Christmas away from loved ones. Yet, they continue to produce mind blowing performances day in and day out!
How are they doing it? How are they able to push to the limits of mental, physical and psychological endurance? We are sure that winegums have a lot to do with it ;-).
They will tell us all about it after they finished of course but another thing springs to mind which is the motto that they have printed on the deck of Maria … ‘Be Stronger Than Your Excuse’!
Yesterday, we received the video below. Inspired by Ross Edgley and his swim around England, Mark has decided to swim to Antigua being fed up with rowing... As you can see, their spirit is great!
Overview from our weather routers
At the beginning of the week Dick and John urged the men to go full throttle to avoid the northerly wind, that gives the low pressure, as much as possible. That acceleration has paid off in the last 48 hours. The further west, the less trouble they would get from that system. You can see below that the rest of the fleet has a lot more trouble and the rear half is even at a standstill. This and the knowledge that Mark can handle his boat in more difficult conditions has helped them build this lead.
We are so full of proud of our boys! We are so proud of our boys! If you share our opinion and want to show it to them, please donate to our charity: Children's Cancer Research. We still have a long way to go before we reach the target amount of
€ 65,000, but together we can achieve it! Please donate here!
A few days ago we have posted more information about the project the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation has chosen. Please have a read, as this project is so important! We really REALLY want to make sure this project can start..