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Team Wild Waves: One week down

It’s difficult to believe that Team Wild Waves are one week into the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge! Our sources report that the team are making excellent progress.

As is standard Wild Waves practice, Jessica and Charlotte’s enthusiasm and excitement was infectious. The team at My Pension Expert couldn’t be prouder to sponsor such an inspirational pair.

Yet, with such positivity, it can be difficult to remember that Wild Waves have had to endure hours of gruelling training and thorough preparation to get to this point.

So, how does one prepare for the world’s most challenging row? We caught up with the Wild Waves team before they set off for Antigua…

My Pension Expert (MPE): What do the final stages of training involve?

Jessica Oliver (JO): The final stages of training out in La Gomera is all about tapering; our coach Gus Barton has put in daily sessions focusing on mobility primarily, but with some strength work as well, to ensure we keep our much-needed strength up!

Charlotte Harris (CH): That said, it’s not just physical training we are undertaking out here in La Gomera. We also have training with some of the equipment suppliers, such as Range Global, who have supplied us with our Satellite phones and our BGAN, which is a type of router – so we can ensure we’re sending back quality footage to our important sponsors!

MPE: What food have you bought for the challenge?

CH: To ensure we replace the calories we’re burning during the crossing, we’ve had to pack over 500,000 calories. As you can probably imagine, that’s an awful lot of food! We will be having 3-4 dehydrated meals a day – that includes breakfasts like porridge and muesli, then lunches and dinners are a lot of pasta, curries and couscous! We also have a snack pack a day that contains protein bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and even cheese. We know our taste buds will change when we’re out there, but we’re hoping we still love most of the food, or it will be a very boring crossing!

MPE: What will Wild Waves be doing during the final two weeks when they’re in Tenerife?

JO: There’s still a lot to do when we’re in La Gomera. We will, of course, be training, but there are also pre-race inspections that we have to pass in order to be allowed to race. The safety officers are incredibly focused, and our safety is their number one priority. They meticulously check everything and test your knowledge on key parts of the boat to make sure you can keep yourself and each other safe out on the ocean.

CH: Of course, as well, there’s a lot of socialising with other teams and bonding – everyone is as mental as each other, and the atmosphere is electric. It’s been fantastic!

MPE: What part of the challenge are you most looking forward to?

JO: We’re most excited for the time we’ll be able to spend with each other and the experience that we both will go through. It’s not going to be easy, and there will be moments where we both rue the day we signed up, but we’ll also see beautiful sunrises, sunsets, marine life that we’ve never seen before, and we’ll have memories that many people wouldn’t be able to even dream about.

MPE: What do friends and family think about your journey – are they excited/proud to see you take on the challenge?

CH: Our families took a little longer to get on board as they were worried about the risks involved, but after much discussion on how prepared we are and how safety is the number one priority, they are now fully-fledged Wild Waves fans. All of our friends and family can’t believe we’re doing this, but they are also incredibly proud and very excited to welcome us to Antigua!

MPE: Tell us about your boat set-up – what preparations have you made on board to get ready for the journey?

CH: There is SO much preparation involved in getting us ready in terms of boat specifics, like polishing the hull to ensure we’re super quick through the water. We have to pack the boat to ensure our mountain of equipment is all in its proper place and will be easy to access during the crossing.

JO: We have to clean the boat every day as it gets incredibly dirty jumping on and off in from the boat park. We’ve just launched her in the water today, so we will now be working through on-the-water preparations such as testing our water maker and ensuring we know our drills back to front!

Remember, you can follow Wild Waves’ progress across the Atlantic Ocean using the tracker on our Team Wild Waves page.