NEWS - A guiding star for Ocean Angels
What better proof of the worth of your product than putting it to the test in race conditions. This is what Australian company Tidetech is doing sponsoring and helping to put the UK’s all-female team, Ocean Angels, into an early lead in the inaugural Indian Ocean Rowing Race.
Tidetech supplies the four girls, the only all-female crew in the 11 teams taking part, and their boat Pura Vida
The Ocean Angels, who all hail from the UK and plan to raise GBP50,000 for the UK’s Breast Cancer Care service through the race, are approximately 30nm in front of their nearest rivals after the first 11 days of the event which began on April 19.
“The four girls, Sarah, Fiona, Jo and Elin, are braving the Indian Ocean with all that it has to offer. They have no engine and no sails, just the strength of their bodies, sheer determination, and four oars to get them the 3100nm from WA to Mauritius,” said Tidetech.
“They are rowing two hours on/two hours off, 24 hours a day, through extreme heat, severe weather and 40-foot waves. Should they succeed, they will become the first women on the planet to row across the Indian Ocean,” said the company.
Tidetech’s Penny Haire, with the aid of latest satellite communication technology, trained the Ocean Angels crew in how to access daily updates of the strength and direction of the ocean current.
Tidetech said the Ocean Angels make use of Expedition navigation and vessel routing software (visit www.iexpedition.org) by uploading Tidetech’s Ocean current files into the software.
The accuracy of Tidetech Ocean current data, which is sourced as raw data from the CSIRO, is said to allow the team to obtain a daily indication of which course to steer to ensure they weave their way carefully through the maze of friendly and unfriendly ocean currents.
Haire said: “With a craft that is only averaging approximately two knots of boat speed it is very easy to understand the importance of taking the best advantage of ocean currents.
“Already there has been a number of consecutive days, thanks to the ocean current routing, where they are averaging speeds 30 per cent faster than the other boats which propelled them from second last place after the initial storm conditions abated to now being in first place,” she said.
The first week of the race had teams in survivial mode as they weathered conditions that made rowing almost impossible and forced most teams to endure a controlled drift and saw the retirement of three teams. “The weather settled this week and now the teams are rowing and making positive progress,” Haire advised.
The Ocean Angels team, who are consciously maintaining a course that takes into account the effect of the ocean currents has, for the past week, been averaging the fastest speed over the ground and are now clearly in front of their male counterparts.
Interestingly, Tidetech said they have 2628nm to the finish while the second placed boat has 2647 nautical miles (a 20nm difference), but the Ocean Angels team has only rowed 523nm to date compared to 555nm for the lead boat which indicates that the girls are much closer to the Great Circle Route (shortest route) as well as having the currents on their side.
Follow the progress of the Ocean Angels team and their position in relation to the Ocean currents at www.tidetech.org or visit the Ocean Angels website to learn more about these amazing ladies at www.oceanangels.co.uk
For further informationa, visit www.indianoceanrowingrace09.com
PHOTOS include: The four-girl Ocean Angels team; Rowing Pura Vida
up a wave; Ocean Angels in cabin; Ocean current graphic; the racecourse.