Direct from their support team: On Monday 27th, a great deal of running around was done checking and double checking kit that was going out with them. The following day they said goodbye to their family and flew out to La Gomera. Their boat, Pendovey Swift, was in the Port Authority yard waiting to get the ok to be released to them so they spent the day meeting the other teams and sharing stories.
The first thing they tested was the Satellite Phone, a very important piece of kit. It worked one moment then stopped, a defective phone. A bit worrying so close to the start, they are sending it back to the company and have had to buy a new phone, this one does work! They have only one other slight problem which is a leak in their water maker, Justin, the boat builder is there and he is going to replace a seal that’s causing the problem. On further inspection it was decided to replace all the seals as some were perished. A good job this was identified now, this would have been a major problem so soon into the trip.
The following couple of days were spent at meetings and briefings. Reassessing the kit they need to take with them and removing any unwanted baggage is another task they are employed in. They are receiving a lot of advice from previous entrants and are making the most of the information gleaned. The organisers are, as you would imagine very safety conscious and every effort is made to ensure that the Teams get across safely. All their kit had to be removed and checked by the organisers and they are glad to say they passed muster. There have been various lectures on safety and how to deploy their para-anchor should the sea conditions get rough.
The weather has been quite nice for working on land but the wind has been in the wrong direction for going into the water and rowing. This, they will do soon as all teams need to test and check their boats. They had a farewell party on Saturday night where Sir Chay Blyth gave them encouraging words about the attempt. You can catch these moments on their Facebook page.
The weather forecast for their first week:
20-30 mph winds
2-4 metre waves
22 degrees temperature
The team are raising fund for the Firefighters Charity and you can donate here.