We scooted down to Antigua to see our friends paddle into English Harbour finishing the 3,000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 30 days, 2 hours and 12 minutes. Team Antigua raced spectacularly, finishing 2nd and, along with the teams in 1st and 3rd, breaking the record to row across the Atlantic.
The welcome was boisterous. Boats big and small ventured offshore to meet the boys as they approached Antigua. When they were five miles upwind of the finish more than a dozen boats and one guy on a paddle board surrounded them. The cliffs were lined with hundreds of people while the entrance to English Harbour was choked with craft of all kind. At the finish line a might cheer arose as horns blared. the team fired off red flares waving to the spectators around them. Then, as they slowly rowed to the finish dock the yachts in the bay let loose their horns creating a cacophony of cheering, booming horns. Antiguan flags were everywhere.
The team reached the dock and were enveloped by a sea of cheering Antiguan's waving flags and dancing. A half dozen drones buzzed above everything. The spectacle was quite moving, and made all the more poignant when team leader Eli Fuller pulled up to the microphone after a host of government officials had taken their credit for the epic journey. Eli said that the most wonderful thing was the support from his island which followed the race hour by hour. He was right! Kids discussed the race in school, parents bought hundreds of our HIHO Team Antigua Suntek Shirts and the media posted daily news updates.
The team representing one of the smallest nations on the planet and they raced their hearts out and almost won. And, in case you wondered, we supplied them HIHO suntek SPF 50 shirts which they wore every day protecting them from the UV Rays.