The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge has been dubbed the world’s toughest row, requiring teams to race across more than 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Teams row 24 hours a day in shifts, rowing for two hours and sleeping for two hours. They will not step foot on land for nearly two months, and if that doesn’t already sound challenging enough, they can experience seas of 20 feet or higher.
Fight Oar Die was the first-ever team of all veterans to compete in the challenge. The team of four originally joined to set an example for other veterans who may be struggling with PTSD and bring awareness to mental health issues faced by military members. Their first year, they completed the row in 54 days.
Fight Oar Die intends to put four different veterans in the boat each year, and they recently completed their second Atlantic crossing, this time setting a world record for their boat class. They embarked on the 3,000-mile trek on December 12 and finished in an impressive 50 days, 11 hours and 35 minutes.
By the end of the race, each team member had rowed 1.5 million strokes, leaving their upper bodies exhausted and their lower bodies atrophied from sitting for 50 days straight. Their bodies were fueled by freeze-dried food and nearly 10 liters of water per day. In addition to raising awareness for mental health issues and setting a world record, the team played a role in raising over $21,000, which was donated by people following the race and will be put towards future efforts.