Unfortunately Team Atlantic Splash was unsuccessful in their attempt to rescue their boat ‘Mission Atlantic’ affectionately known as ‘Missy’ over the Christmas period. They were however successful in rescuing AstroSweden’s boat ‘Amigo.’
Atlantic Splash were airlifted by helicopter from ‘Missy’ on Monday December 9th while taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge race. Described as the toughest race in the world they had faced a 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic from the San Sebastian de La Gomera ,Canaries Islands to Antigua.
After the boat took on water which knocked out their entire electrical system the five team members were all safely airlifted to Tenerife. The conditions were the worst known for over 100 years.
Determined not to give up team members Neal Marsh, Tom Hyland and Bastien Leclair were back in La Gomera before Christmas and arranged a yacht for the 200 mile round trip to recover ‘Missy’. The team learnt that solo rower Christer Kjellner from AstroSweden had also been rescued by helicopter abandoning his boat ‘Amigo’ . Christer had to return to Sweden and Team Atlantic Splash volunteered to also attempt recovery of ‘Amigo’.
The team arrived at the site of the last fix on ‘Missy’ at 3.00 am on Sunday morning (December 22nd) but although Tom Hyland was convinced he saw a glimpse of the orange and white hull in the moonlight she couldn’t be found.
Neil Marsh said: “We think it was just the conditions that led to the failure of a sighting and it was not getting better, we calculated we would probably need to get within at least ½ mile to see her. It never happened and we had to accept that she was lost to the sea, you need to understand we knew in order to get both boats back we needed to find them both quickly as our fuel limitations against the conditions would make the call for us. So here we are after 8 hours of searching for her we had to turn towards AstroSweden to find Christer’s boat ‘Amigo’”.
Heavy hearted and not without a tear the team headed for the ‘Amigo’ and this time were successful in locating the boat which they towed back to La Gomera arriving on Christmas Day.
This may not be the end of the story as Neil Marsh said: “In true Atlantic Splash style the story is never over until we all agree it is.”