The team rowed a ‘Woodvale Pairs’ class boat, designed specifically for the race and measuring just 7 metres (23.4ft) long and 1.9m (6.3ft) wide.
They needed to pack their entire supply of food for the journey, use a de-salination machine to turn sea-water into drinking water and used the boat’s solar panels to power any electrical equipment they took on board with them.
All race entrants are required to use exactly the same boat design to ensure fairness. The boat type was designed by Phil Morrison and ‘Spud’ Rowsell for the 1997 race and the basic construction has not changed since.
Intended to be self righting with the correct ballast on board, the boats are built for the task and manage the crossing by bobbing across the water ‘like a cork’. While not the most comfortable travel for the rowers, the ocean going integrity of these boats has been proven time and time again.
The boat chosen for the Atlantic Rowing Challenge comes from a limited number of second generation vessels. Boasting a composite, moulded hull instead of the normal marine ply, this boat is lighter, stronger and hopefully faster! The cabins are built from marine ply, but with an extra sleeping position below the waterline in the bow.
The boat was first raced as Queensgate and still holds the current record for a 4 man crossing East to West of 36 days 59.30 minutes. On her second outing as Stella, the Atlantic 4 crew finished the race in 49 days, 14 hours and 21 minutes.
Not being the cheapest boat around, the price tag of £25,000 does include some of the essential kit but is still a huge chunk of the overall budget.