As one of the members of Team Antigua Island Girls, if I had to tell you what made the Pacific row in June-July 2023 so much more intense than our Atlantic row in 2018-19, I would start and end with the weather conditions. Yes, there were other challenges before, during and after but those are stories for another time. The weather, however, set the tone for our respective rows.
Team Antigua Island Girls (left to right): Christal Clashing, Kevinia Francis, Samara Emmanuel (Photo credit: World’s Toughest Row)
Firstly, the Pacific waters we were in can only be characterised as angry. In the Atlantic we would have said the waters were confused because as it was a ‘slow’ year where there was minimal wind blowing from the coast of Africa to the Caribbean. As a result, it often felt like we were rowing through treacle as the currents, wind and waves each seemed to be going in conflicting directions, none of which being in the direction we wanted it to go, which was towards Antigua, our home. The Pacific in contrast, wasn’t confused at all, it was just angry. With waves hitting us from the side at all manner of angles and intensities, it felt like there was no rhyme or rhythm to its tune. It was just simply angry. Big and angry.