One of the founders of luxury experiential travel company Pelorus is about to head off on a 3,000-mile ocean rowing race.
Jimmy Carroll will be taking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge with three other rowers of the Latitude 35 team in just a 28ft rowing boat.
Starting from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on 12 December, they will tackle 30ft waves in the challenge and endure days of short-shift rowing as they survive in very close quarters in the middle of nowhere.
Having to worry about which three households to spend Christmas with won’t be an issue for Carroll as, by then, he will be halfway across the Atlantic on the challenge, for which the world record is 29 days.
“We hope to finish somewhere between 28.9 and 35 days, which is entirely contingent on the ocean conditions,” said Carroll. “Our goal is to win the race and give ourselves the best chance at breaking the record.”
Carroll will be raising funds for the Pelorus Foundation, which has a mission is “to protect, preserve and promote at-risk wildlife and environments across the planet”, including protecting hundreds of square miles of wilderness by 2025.
All this is going on in the middle of a pandemic and despite Carroll having barely met one of the four men in the boat, who is based in the US; the team carried out much of their planning over Zoom calls during this mad year.
And while some people may have knitted, baked sourdough bread or binged on hours of Netflix during endless restrictions and lockdown, Carroll has been vigorously training for the challenge.
Deemed the world’s toughest row, across the vast depths of the Atlantic, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, is “an unimaginable ordeal for the vast majority of people”, but Carroll has had resilience training drilled into him, having spent an eight-year spell as a captain in a British Army reconnaissance regiment.
He has also run ultra-marathons and tackled endurance bike rides. “I have always been slightly mad for these kind of endurance events; rowing across the Atlantic has been something I have always aspired to,” he said. His previous challenges have included expedition manager for Xtreme Everest 2 and creating the London to Monaco bike ride in aid of the Blue Marine Foundation.
“Rowing across the Atlantic is undoubtedly one of the hardest endurance races there is, so I was very lucky when the unique opportunity arose earlier this year to be a part of the accomplished adventure team, Latitude 35,” Carroll said. “A 28ft boat housing four men for a lengthy period of time is unnatural. We need to be very open with one another and discuss everything. Therefore a lot of our preparation has not only been physical, but it is also about building mental resilience.”
All being well, the team will reach Antigua in the middle of January. You can follow Carroll and Latitude 35’s progress here.