• ALS Crowd Events
    • Jul 27, 2017

    ALS Patient, Alan Alderman, Taking On the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is not your average rowing race. It’s a race across 3,000 nautical miles of the Atlantic ocean, starting from San Sebastian in La Gomera, and heading west to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua.  As soon as rowers leave the harbour of San Sebastian, they are on their own until the finish line.

 (photo credit: Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge)

The race is considered the “world’s toughest row” as participants face the possibility of hurricanes, powerful waves, sharks, and limited food rations. Not the most ideal living conditions for the average rower, but no matter the obstacles, ALS patient, Alan Alderman, and his friend Tim Ryan have decided to take on the challenge.

Alan was diagnosed with ALS in the 2001, and has continued to battle the disease for the last 16 years. Although the disease weakens the muscles and impacts physical function, Alan is living evidence that your disease does not have to limit you. Recently, we met with Alan to discuss the logistics of the race, and he said that although “physical strength is important for the race, he believes that mental strength is the key to finishing it.”

With plans to race in 2018, Alan and Tim have started pulling together their team of four. After extensive training for a year and a half, the race will begin mid-December of 2018, and depending on the speed of the rowers, will last until the end of January/beginning of February 2019.

For the race, rowing boats are approximately 7.5 meters long and 1.8 meters wise. Since the boat is so small “competitors are unable to freely while on board.” Their only protection against the sun and the ocean will be a small cabin built into the end of the boat.

“All rowers will be equipped with 90 days’ worth of rations, first aid kits and a few small luxuries. Watermakers are installed into each boat to change the sea water into drinking water. They also have solar panels which while power a GPS and other electrical equipment.”

 (photo credit: Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge)

It’s a challenge that few have chosen to take. Studies show that “more people have been into space or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic.” No matter the obstacles ahead, Alan and his team have already started to prepare. Alan’s a fighter, and knows that when the time comes they will be ready to take on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Site referenced: Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

About Author

ALSCrowd Content Manager. Studying Nursing. Daughter to a parent with cancer.


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