Indian Ocean 8 Crew

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally Finished by Angela

Finally home

I am home after completing my epic rowing expedition/voyage across the Indian Ocean. I was successful in that I met all my objectives and reached all of my goals. After 58 days 15 hours and 8 minutes making it the fastest crossing by oar, I became the first woman, first disabled and paraplegic, first disabled woman to have rowed across 2 oceans. ....
On day 3 we had suffered a knock down as a large wave struck our boat from behind. Our steering system seemed to turn us prematurely as we were accelerating down the face of a massive wave. We ended up turned sideways as the wave was crashing over us. A knock down is not a capsize as the boat never goes all the way over it is more like being just at the point of rolling and then coming back the other direction. We had broken and lost some oars and one of our sliding seats was also lost in the chaos. Everyone was tethered to the boat and we did not lose any of the crew. You would have heard about it in the news had we had a death or missing at sea. Unless this happens, I am quite sure by the lack of media attention, support and sponsorship that nobody cares; at least that is what Deb tells me. She is usually right about such things. Maybe someday someone will surprise me. I have to remain optimistic. The solutions we found to the problem of the lost rowing seat was to take a wooden plank or cover from the battery compartment and make a fixed seat. Having trained and competed as a fixed seat rower for the last 10 years, I volunteered to dedicate myself to that rowing position for the remainder of the crossing. The alternate watch had decided to rotate and every day a different person would have to row from the fixed seat. Everyone agrees that It was the worst seat in the boat being a wooden plank and not a proper rowing seat for starters. People really did not train to row with their backs and arms so it was quite a painful experience for them, not that it wasn't quite painful for me as well, I just knew it was not going to cause me any debilitating injury or prevent me from being able to continue. I could also generate more power from the fixed seat having all of the experience and training that I have. I suffered the worst sores of the whole crew on my buttocks as a result.

Our auto pilot/steering system eventually failed and our crew who had sailing experience built a tiller system for steering the boat so our watch system had to change again. To try and keep 4 people at the oar and 1 steering we had to alter the fixed seat rowing station and make a place for the helmsman which I did by removing the foot stretcher and making a new one from another wooden hatch cover from inside the cabin. It wasn't a sturdy system and a lot of us would get knocked off the seat but it worked well enough. We could then have our regular watch of 4 plus 1. When we began it was 2 watches of 4 and 12 hours of rowing and 12 resting. When we got closer to the finish and the steering went out we went to 3 rowing and 1 steering keeping to the 4and 4 but people were not utilizing the rest periods in the excitement of being so close to the finish or even after we crossed the half way point and the boat was not moving as quickly with only 3 rowing so we went to the 4+1 rotating in and giving up some of our rest periods. The boat speed increased and we made it to the Finish in Mauritius ahead of all of the other boats in the race. Even if they had made it to land first they still would have had to make it there days ahead of us as we had given them a substantial head start leaving Australia 9 days after the race start date.

This having been my second ocean crossing, comparing the two and noting the differences, this was by far the most difficult. There really were no favorable conditions and it was a farther distance then there was the amount of people and personalities to deal with. Resolving all problems of all types quickly seemed to be the winning ticket even if the resolution was to table something or stuff it and let it go. When we set out I had told everyone that no one gets along 100% of the time, even the best of friends, I believed that this helped as no one had the expectation that we would all get along. I did not get along with everyone on the boat but I showed no favoritism one way or the other to anyone. I put our experienced ocean rowers in charge as the watch captains and it wasn't perfect. I don't believe I would ever choose to do it the same way again although it has been a fantastic experience! I have learned that selfish people do not belong wherever two or more have gathered!

I don't have plans to do another crossing but cannot say one way another weather I will or not. I am looking forward to staying home for a while and doing some surfing. I am available for interviews and speaking engagements. I am still working on the book and documentary, actually looking for some help with these projects.

Angela Madsen (Atlantic Ocean) (Indian Ocean)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Roz Savage Starts 2nd Leg of Her Pacific Row

Roz Savage starts 2nd Leg of Her Pacific Ocean Row
May 25, 2009

Angela’s friend and fellow ocean rower, Roz Savage, has started the second leg of her Pacific Ocean Row at sunset yesterday. Last year, Roz rowed solo from San Francisco, CA to Honolulu, HI in about 100 days. This year she is rowing from Honolulu, HI to Samoa. Next year she is rowing from Samoa to Australia.

Roz is an amazing person. She is great to listen to. She is very high tech and does her blogs and podcasts from her boat. You can check out her website at

She also has written a book, Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean that is available for preorder at

Roz rowed in Woodvale’s Atlantic Ocean Rowing Race 2005.

She has been featured on CBS and there is a youtube video.

So good luck to Roz!

Sea Life on Indian Ocean a Myth by Deb

Sea Life on Indian Ocean a Myth by Deb
May 25, 2009

When Angela signed up for this Indian Ocean Cruise (I mean Journey) we were told there was fabulous sea life in the Indian Ocean. Angela looked forward to meeting up with whales, seals, turtles and even sharks as she had on her Atlantic Crossing. We blogged about all kinds of sea life ( look at posts from Jan-Feb 2008) during the Atlantic Crossing. So far, nearly a month into the Indian Ocean Crossing they have not seen much in the way of sea life. They have taken time on this crossing to fish, yet, they have not caught anything. This is actually the norm for Angela, (as I have yet to see her come home with anything but lame excuses); surely some of the other 7 crew members have been successful at fishing. Angela says she spotted a 2 foot blue marlin off the boat the other day but other than that they have not seen the sea life they were promised in the brochure. Hum, Woodvale is smart not to put a sea life guarantee in the contract. The crew has seen 20 ft waves and terrible winds.

The Indian Ocean 8 crew members seem to be getting along well. There have been no reports of plotting to through anyone overboard. They all have sores and aches and pains, but nothing more than they normal Ocean Rowing fare. Angela did have a sore that Bernie had to tend to, but Angela being a paraplegic, has more trouble with sores not healing. She said her crew took charge of her and put her on rowing restriction for 24 hours. During her shift she went to her station and exposed her lily white arse to the sky in an attempt to get it to heal more quickly. Good thing the other rowers have sun glasses!

On the last update, it appears that we have passed the Rowing for Prostrate lads. But that is probably not the case. When you look at the times of the updates, RFP was updated 5/25 at 11:00 GMT and Audeamus was updated 5/25 at 18:01 GMT. Audeamus was 3 miles ahead of them at that time, but I am assuming that RFP made more progress than that in the 7 hours since their reading. So….get out the horns and party favors, but don’t celebrate just yet!

Angela assures me that she has been taking pictures and video so we will get to see those when they get to Mauritius.

RowofLife wins Pride Award in LB Parade by Deb

RowofLife wins Pride Award in Long Beach Parade by Deb
May 18, 2009

I pulled Angela’s pairs Ocean Rowing Boat in the Long Beach Pride Parade on May 17, 2009. It was the third straight year we have been an entry into the parade. This year we won the Pride Award. We are very excited to given this award!

I was not happy to pull the boat without Angela, but she insisted that I do so to bring awareness to the PirateRow Project. I made 11x17 prints of the PirateRow postcards and pasted them on the RowofLife boat. I handed out lots of postcards to people who pasted the boat in the staging area. Our friends Lisa Barrett, Jill Nikano, and Tina Musto were kind enough to help me. Jill and Tina rode on the boat and threw candy to the crowd, well until an official made them stop! Lisa rode with me in the RowofLife Van. All and all a successful day with lots of awareness raised for the Indian Ocean row.

Southern Cross Capsizes in Heavy Weather by Woodvale

Southern Cross Capsizes in Heavy Weather
21 May 2009 12:08 BST

The heavy weather of the past 24 hours has begun to pass over the fleet, allowing the teams to assess the damage, if any, that mother-nature has caused to their boats. Despite one capsize situation onboard Southern Cross, all the teams have come through this weather system relatively unscathed.

Below is a full account of the Southern Cross capsize courtesy of Roy Childs, father of Jamie Facer-Childs.

Southern Cross Capsizes

7 minutes upside down in the Indian Ocean

At 1.15 this morning, 21st May 2009, a small, ocean rowing boat called Southern Cross capsized nearly 1000 miles from Western Australia. It remained upside down for a total of 7 minutes.

The two rowers are the youngest to attempt to cross this vast ocean. Jamie Facer-Childs (21) and James Thysse (22) from Maidenhead and Reading were inside their tiny cabin when a wave came at them sideways on and tossed them over.

Fortunately the two had battened down the hatches and were inside the cabin maintaining the watertight integrity of the boat. However, the 7 minutes to self right itself was, let us say, anxiety promoting to say the least. The two boys desperately hurled themselves against the side of the cabin in an attempt to get the boat to start turning right side up. Eventually it did self right.

Still in big swells there has not been an opportunity to carry out a full inspection of the damage done but the good news is that the oars had been carefully stowed and appear to be undamaged. It may be too early to laugh at this episode but Mother Nature chose her time carefully since one of the boys was in the process of using the bucket for his ablutions. We need not imagine the rest but suffice to say that they probably have 3 more days waiting for the storm to abate.

Not many people would go along with their imaginary postcard saying “wish you were here” but we certainly take our hat off to these two youngsters who are still the leading the “Pairs” race and who are still committed to arriving in Mauritius.

I am able to write this because their satellite phone is still working. It is amazing to be able to talk to them and hear how they are calmly dealing with this amazing adventure and all the adversity that is being thrown at them. Good heart, good courage and good luck to them both.

Para Anchors All Round! by Woodvale May 20, 2009

Para Anchors All Round!
20 May 2009 16:48 BST

As of the early hours of today, the entire fleet has been experiencing some particularly heavy Indian Ocean weather. Thirty knot winds and 6 metre high waves are forecast to remain over the fleet until this coming Saturday.

This has all but stopped the racing fleet in their tracks and all the competitors can do is batten down the hatches, sit tight and wait for the conditions to improve.

Although any rowing in the direction of Mauritius is currently out of the question, the name of the game at the moment is to prevent being blown backwards over old ground, towards Australia. This is where the all important Para Anchor, a vital piece of mandatory equipment, comes into its own.

When deployed, the Para Anchor will decrease the effect of the Westerly wind but more importantly, it helps to keep the boat end on to the waves, reducing the chance of a boat capsize.

Although, this heavy weather system is affecting the entire fleet, it is the two Pairs teams, Boat No. 9 ‘Southern Cross’, Boat No. 6 ‘Flying Ferkins’ and the one remaining Solo entry, Boat No. 3 ‘Old Mutual Endurance who are suffering the most. This can already been seen by the latest positions, course and speeds shown on the Progress Page of this site.

Although they are not yet being pushed backwards by the current conditions, leading boat, Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ in the North of the fleet have also been affected and their boat speed has dropped considerably to just over 1 knot. This means that the halfway celebrations will have to go on hold for a little while longer.

It’s going to be a rough couple of days but on the positive side, a opportunity for the competitors to rest from rowing and tend to sores, aches and pains.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Approaching Half Way by Woodvale May 18, 2009

Approaching Half Way
18 May 2009 21:14 BST

New race leaders, Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’, with a 32nm lead over the next closest team, Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’ are now just days away from reaching the half way mark.

Having taken a more Northerly route, Bexhill Trust Challenger are cashing in on the positive winds and weather conditions that only they are currently experiencing, averaging speeds of 2.5 knots and daily runs of 50 plus nautical miles.

One month into the race and after 1,427nm of grueling rowing, the Bexhill Trust Challenger boys are just 139nm away from the half way mark, a major milestone in the Race. It’s all down hill from this point onwards!

Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet, who all chose a more direct, Southerly route are suffering from adverse winds and confused currents. For the smaller crews, the Pairs and one remaining Solo entry, each and every single mile towards Mauritius is hard work and daily mileages are down to single figures. However, the Indian Ocean is unpredictable and where as the weather conditions on one day can favour teams in the North, the next day it could be all change for the better of the teams in the South.

In desperation to get out of the eddy hole that has plagued the Ocean Angels for the past three days, the British all female Fours team sacrificed their morphine to the depths of the Indian Ocean in a last ditch attempt to sedate the raging sea long enough for them to row free of its clutches.

Their plan seems to have worked and today Pura Vida has started to move in the right direction again, albeit slower than their rivals, the boys onboard Bexhill Trust Challenger.

For the latest positions of all the teams taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, please go to the Progress Page on this site.

You can also get all the latest race updates by joining us on Twitter at,

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Angela in a Bucket! by Deb

Speaking of Bucket and Chuck it (a term that brings to mind Jeopardy-what is how do you go potty on an Ocean rowing boat?)..... Angela was able to chat a moment without being cut off, and told me that she fell into the potty bucket and got stuck. She described herself as looking like a scoop of ice cream in a bucket cone. That brings to mind an image that I could probably create in Photoshop, but won't. So the state of the potty bucket on Audeamus is not great at the moment. Even after they were able to pull her to safety from her bucket cone.


Bucket and Chuck It! by Woodvale May 16,2009

Bucket and Chuck It!
16 May 2009 20:48 BST

It is a common misconception among people not in the know that Ocean Rowing boats are fitted out with similar facilities to an ocean going yacht – a galley, a cabin with bunks and heads. This sadly, is not the case!

The galley is a small camping stove used to heat up meals on the open deck of the boat. The cabin is a tiny covered area barely big enough to sit up in let along stand and the heads are simply a couple of 99p buckets!

The mandatory kit list stipulates that each team must take three buckets, one for washing up the dishes, one for washing clothes and the third and final bucket to be used as a toilet.

For Guy and Andrew onboard Boat No. 6 ‘Flying Ferkins’, three buckets is not enough. Their toilet allocated bucket went overboard by accident in the first week of the race. Their washing up bucket, that then doubled up as a replacement toilet, broke under the strain and the third and final bucket together with a crack down the side is only just holding together. Let’s hope it lasts the distance! To hear Guy’s latest podcast all about the dyer toilet situation onboard the Flying Ferkins, please go to

Elsewhere in the fleet, Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ has taken the lead from the Ocean Angels in Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’. The usual relaxed and jovial blogs sent back by the Fours ladies has been replaced today with frustration, as they have been forced to helplessly watch their substantial lead slip away and the see the boys overtake them.

With the best 24hr run today of 63.09 nautical miles also going to Bexhill Trust Challenger, the British Fours guys will be celebrating today. However, a change of weather conditions and sea state for the better in the area of the girls could make for an interesting battle over the next couple of days.

Closing the Gap by Woodvale May 15, 2009

Closing the Gap
15 May 2009 18:39 BST

Could the decision to take a more northerly route, made by Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ in the early stages of the race, finally be paying off? This is a question that the British four man crew are bound to be asking themselves tonight as the gap between them and current race leaders, Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’ is today down to 69 nautical miles, the smallest its been for quite some time.

As the Ocean Angels report being in some kind of vortex with no phone signal, little breeze and a lot of teasing by the sea, which is refusing to let the team hold their position in any direction, the Bexhill Trust boys are quickly closing the gap. That said, they too have had their fair share of Indian Ocean extreme weather experiences over the past 48 hours, when out of nowhere, a monstrous wave hit the boat full on.

Despite almost knocking Matt and Nick overboard, all four crew members remained unscathed by the incident and the Indian Ocean only managed to claim one pair of rather worse for wear pants from its attack. We hope the owner has more than one pair and if not, look out Mauritius – you could be in for a naked arrival!

Just behind them and also closing the gap on the leaders is the third, Four man team, Boat No. 5 ‘Rowing for Prostate’. An unexpected call from the Prime Minister of New Zealand to let the team know how proud he is of them and to invite them to meet him on their return has spurred the team on. The Prime Minister also offered the crew some advice on their watermaker problems – it seems that even the Prime Minister of New Zealand has become an avid blob watcher!

Whilst the Rowing for Prostate crew cross the Indian Ocean, Hamish Ladbroke who had been part of the New Zealand team but was forced to pull out because his niece was suffering from Cancer has been rowing 2 hours every day since the start of the race. Taking his rowing machine to the cold streets of Wanaka, near Queenstown, Hamish has been raising awareness of the Rowing for Prostate entry and much need funds for the charity. He vows not to give up on his dry rowing challenge until his has reached the fund target of $10,000.

To follow the progress of all the crews taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, please go to the Progress Page on this site. You can also get all the latest race alerts by following us on Twitter at

Ocean Rowing Ailments by Woodvale May 14, 2009

Ocean Rowing Ailments
14 May 2009 15:08 BST

After almost four weeks at sea, all competitors taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race are beginning to suffer from a range of ailments all to common to an Ocean Rower. These include:

- Salt sores

- Blisters on hands and feet

- Claw hands

- General aches and pains in the back, arms and legs

- Weight loss

- Sleep deprivation

Rowing an ocean has never been glamorous but an extensive mandatory medical kit onboard each of the competing boats ensures that teams can treat these all to common medical problems themselves. For more severer medical matters, teams can ring for advice from the race appointed medic or if necessary, they can contact the race support vessel to request a medical evacuation.

Although they sound and look pretty horrendous, these common ocean rowing medical problems are not permanent and a good douse of TLC once back on dry land soon put rowers back on the road to recovery.

Despite the lack of marine wildlife reported by some of the crews during this first half of the race, solo rower Simon Prior onboard Boat No. 3 ’Old Mutual Endurance’ was visited by a friend yesterday of the scaly variety. A flying fish dropped into Simon’s boat after hitting him square on in the middle of his forehead. This could well be the first of many flying fish experiences - not all of them so welcome!

As we come to the end of the fourth week at sea, four of the seven boats have now crossed the 1000nm mark and race leaders, Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’ are now fast approaching the half way mark, which they are likely to reach towards the end of next week. The eight man speed crew onboard Boat No. 88, Aud Eamus continue to eat up the miles and are now breathing down the necks of the guys onboard Boat No. 5 ‘Rowing for Prostate’.

With the half way mark looming, family and friends back home will now start to think of travelling out to Mauritius to greet their loved ones home safely. Woodvale Challenge has been working with local travel company, Connections to put together a range of competitive accommodation packages for rowers, their family and friends in Mauritius. For further information about the packages available, please contact Connections direct via their website at

Ocean Rowing Cuisine by Woodvale May 11, 2009

Ocean Rowing Cuisine
11 May 2009 11:44 BST

Nutrition is a highly important part of any ocean row and certainly not something to be taken lightly.

As the event rules state that all teams must be totally self sufficient for the duration of the race, crews must carry all necessary provisions onboard their boat including enough food for the whole length of the crossing.

Ocean rowing boats are fitted with limited facilities – there is no galley, no fridge or freezer and very limited storage space. A small camping style gas stove is generally all they have and again, each team must carry enough gas canisters for the length of the race.

Fresh food becomes a distant memory and the daily menu generally consists of the nautical delicacies, freeze dried or boil in the bag meals, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars and the odd chocolate or sweet as a real treat.

As each competitor is rowing on average 12 hours a day, they are burning hundreds of calories, which need to be replaced by the food they eat. Generally, ocean rowers should be aiming to consume 6,000 – 8,000 calories per day in order to maintain strength and body weight. This in itself proves a major problem on the diet available.

Food is also a huge moral booster so it’s important that the food a crew chooses, is food that is both palatable and enjoyable. All these important factors must be weighed up against the weight that the food will add to the overall boat weight, which in turn can affect boat speed.

Of course, there are some ways to add to this bland diet. Fishing has long become an ocean rowing pastime but this can take time and requires the added weight of the fishing kit to be added to the boats inventory. Let’s hope any teams that try their hand at fishing during the Indian Ocean Rowing Race don’t catch something bigger than expected!

After only a few weeks at sea, rowers start to dream of food that we all take for granted. Cravens for freshly baked bread, fresh fruit or steak and chips can take over a rower’s mind, not to mention the thought of an ice cold cola or beer.

Food really can make the difference in an Ocean Rowing Race so please bare a thought tonight when you tuck into your dinner, for the rowers who will be forcing far less edible food down their necks.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The First 500 Nautical Miles by Woodvale May 9, 2009

The first 500 Nautical Miles by Woodvale
09 May 2009 11:41 BST

As we approach the end of the third week at sea, all seven boats taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009 have now completed the first 500 nautical miles – a major milestone and a huge confidence boost to all of the competitors taking part.

With three classes for Solo, Pairs and Fours crews, plus one eight man out of class boat all competing in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, the spread of the fleet after the first 3 weeks is extensive. Where as the Pairs Class boats – Boat No. 6 ‘Flying Ferkins’ and Boat No. 9 ‘Southern Cross’ have just completed their first 500 nautical miles, the three Fours class boats at the front of the fleet – Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’, Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger and Boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostrate’ are nearing the 1,000 nautical mile mark. This gives the fleet a 400 nautical mile spread from front to back and a similar distance across the width of the fleet.

At the top of the fleet it’s the Ocean Angels onboard Boat No. 13 ‘Pura Vida’ who continue to lead the race but Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ have now fixed their foot steering, meaning normal two up rowing shifts can resume. Ever so slightly, they are beginning to close the gap on the ladies, so watch out Ocean Angels, the boys are stalking you.

As temperatures of 30 degrees plus and long days of unbroken sunshine continue, the boys onboard Boat No. 5 ‘Rowing For Prostrate’ brave the shark infested waters of the Indian Ocean to clean the bottom of their boat.

Despite painting the hull of the boats with anitfoul, barnacles that attach to the bottom of the hull, which in turn cause drag and slow the boats down are a common problem for all ocean rowers. Therefore, if optimum boat speed is to be maintained, teams must clean the barnacles off the bottom of the boats at regular intervals during the crossing.

For a team of four, this task is less difficult as two enter the water, while the others keep watch for any unwanted visitors. However, for Solo rower, Simon Prior onboard Boat No. 3 ‘Old Mutual Endurance’, this is a far more dangerous task.

For all the positions of the boats competing in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, please check the Progress page of this site daily.

Blob Watching by Woodvale May 8, 2009

Blob Watching
08 May 2009 14:23 BST

For the competitors taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, the focus over the next few months is crossing the race finish line and reaching Mauritius in the quickest possible time. However, for the many family members and friends watching from home, concern for the safety of their loved ones will occupy every minute of every day until they safely step foot back on dry land.

Although each crew must take a Satellite telephone as part of their mandatory kit, continuous and uninterrupted contact with the teams throughout the duration of the race is in no way guaranteed. The extreme conditions of the Indian Ocean and the shear length of the race takes its toll on all electrical equipment as salt erosion, water damage, power/charging issues and potential loss of equipment overboard are everyday possibilities.

For many watching from afar, the only daily contact they will have with their team is the little coloured dot that gradually makes its way across the map of the Indian Ocean on the Progress Page on this site – a pastime experienced by many who have followed previous Woodvale Ocean Rowing Races and aptly named Blob Watching.

Each boat competing in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race is also fitted with a tracking beacon, which runs off the boats mains power supply and automatically sends position data reports at regular intervals up to a Satellite. This data is then collected by a computer package, deciphered and then forwarded on to the IORR website for everyone to follow.

Technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years but like all electrical equipment, the race tracking is not full proof. The Indian Ocean is covered only by one Satellite; where as the Atlantic Ocean has three. There may be occasions, when the single satellite covering the Indian Ocean is not able to collect the data from the beacon (i.e. if the boat is not in clear view of the satellite). Equally, if the boat is experiencing power/charging problems, electrical equipment running off the boats mains power supply will be temporally unavailable until power has been restored.

Gaps in position reports can be extremely worrying and frustrating for family, friends and anyone watching the race via the website. However, please be patient and try not to worry as in most cases, position data will be restored within a few days.

At the time of writing this news report, Boat No. 7 ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ and Boat No. 6 ‘Flying Ferkins’ are not currently sending automatic position reports via their tracking beacons. However, Race HQ has been in regular contact with both crews who are fine and well, and automatic position reports for each team is expected to be restored shortly.

Water everywhere but can you get a drink? from Woodvale

Water everywhere but can you get a drink?
06 May 2009 12:47 BST

Despite being in the middle of the Indian Ocean and surrounded by water, fresh drinking water is a major problem for all of the competitors taking part in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009.

Each of the boats carry an electric water maker which, powered off each boats mains electricity supply, pumps the salty sea water in to the machine and via a desalination process turns this is to drinking water. This process is relatively slow and demands a substantial amount of power so its times like these when you start to look at how much fresh water you really do require to survive on each day.

For solo rower, Simon Prior onboard boat No. 3 ‘Old Mutual Endurance’ this question has been intensified as his electric water maker has stopped working for the second time since the start of the race.

As part of the mandatory race equipment, each team must carry a spares pack for their main unit and a separate back up hand operated water maker, which effectively does the same job without requiring electricity. However, this manual process takes much longer but in 200 degrees of blazing Indian Ocean heat, drinking water becomes a priority and all other jobs including rowing are put on hold.

Elsewhere in the fleet, Boat No 88, Aud Eamus start to show their true ability as they pass Boat No. 9 ‘Southern Cross’ on their way through the racing fleet. Next is Boat No. 3 ‘Old Mutual Endurance’ who should be able to raise the 8 man crew by VHF as they pass by the solo rower later on today.

For all the up to date positions of all boats competing in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009, please check the Progress Page on this site regularly.