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Do you have what it takes to row the Wild Ride? Cross the Atlantic?

The North Atlantic Challenge is a 4,000-mile crossing that Peter Harley will be undertaking starting in May. Hopefully, 3 months later, he will set foot in France. There have been two previous attempts to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat, both failed.

I asked Peter what kind of training he is doing in preparation for this incredible row. (Peter had recently crossed the 900 miles of training on Jordan Lake so I thought it appropriate to ask).


Peter wrote the following: "Initially, prior to the boat arriving from the UK, I had about 6 months of kayak paddling training on Lake Crabtree (in North Carolina) that included gym training 3 days a week. This I thought would prepare me fairly well for when I started rowing training with the boat. I was hopelessly mistaken !!


The boat (now Christened "Wild Ride") arrived on October 5th, 2020, and I took it out for the first row towards the end of October early November 2020. Conditions on the lake were good. I managed to row for 35 minutes and I was spent after a little more than a mile. This was a wake-up call for me! I was not expecting and I truly questioned what I had done in committing to a 4,000 statute mile row across the hostile North Atlantic.

I was however now fully committed so persisted and slowly gained strength and endurance. My gym work ramped up to 6 days a week with rowing on Sundays which climbed through 2 to 4 hrs, then 5 to 6 hrs. Then I added a new dynamic of what I called (for want of a better description) "power sessions". So less time but maximum intensity.


These power sessions started at 2 hrs and built up to 4 to 4.5 hours. I found that adding these "power sessions" contributed considerably to the endurance sessions which rapidly climbed to 7, 8, 9, and 10 hrs per session with many at 8 & 9 hrs.


Two weeks ago the training mileage went past the 900-mile mark and coincided with a fully loaded boat with all gear, equipment, and food which added about 500lbs to the vessel, which I estimate at being around 1.2 tons all up. The added extra weight is significant to row and to train into the new weight I have gone back to the "power sessions" at 5 to 6 hrs a time. This will also align with what I will be rowing during the crossing.


Very little of the rowing at sea will be 8,9 and 10hrs a stretch. The 24hr day will be broken into equal parts. For example 3 x 8 hr shifts with 5 hrs on 3 hrs off or sleep or alternatively, 6 x 4 hr shifts with 3 hrs on 1 hr off/sleep, etc. There are multiple options and I could utilize combinations of these depending on weather and sea conditions and my body and mental condition. The only time I would row those long continuous hours would be to take advantage of excellent following conditions, weather, and current, or to hold a position in poor conditions simply to avoid going backwards too far. All planning and decision-making are constantly fluid and reliant on numerous factors."


So when you row your boat or your erg, remember Peter and the training that he is doing for his crossing.

Peter is a vegetarian and is training to do between 10 to 14 hours of rowing a day when crossing the Atlantic. His 1 1-2 tonne, purpose-built shell can be seen on Jordan Lake, NC rowing as much as 10 hours at a stretch.


You can read all about the Challenge by clicking on the following link www.northatlanticchallenge.com and please help Peter if you can.



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