Dear friends, supporters, and fellow ocean-rowers,
I regret to announce that I will not be taking part in the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC) as planned. Circumstances beyond my control have forced me to postpone my participation until the 2020 race.
The race organisers – Atlantic Campaigns – have kindly allowed me to defer my entry and I look forward to joining the 2020 fleet for the World’s Toughest Row next year.
Unfortunately, the ocean-rowing boat that I ordered for my planned solo row in 2019 is not complete. Construction of the LB4 vessel had been proceeding well in the Ukraine, until a vacuum pump failed during the hull-casting process. The structural integrity of the hull was compromised as a result, and it was necessary to cast a second hull.
Project manager Leven Brown, of Leven Brown Adventure & Ocean Services, and his build team are working flat out to ensure that the LB4 is ready for delivery in the first quarter of 2020. But these new construction timelines have made it impossible for me to compete in the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
This news was a terrible blow for me, but I’m so grateful for the continued support on all fronts. I’m thrilled that my partner organisations – White Shark Projects, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, and the Maritzburg College Foundation – remain on board for Melokuhle 2020. I’m truly humbled by their encouragement and understanding.
As I shift focus and begin to make preparations for the 2020 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, I’d like to wish the 2019 race teams everything of the very best for this December. I’ve been blessed to be part of the TWAC 2019 community.
I’d also like to thank Carsten Heron Olsen (TWAC Race Director), Nikki Holter (TWAC Event Manager), and Ian Couch (TWAC Head Safety Officer) for their guidance and assistance during this difficult time for Team Melokuhle. The level of support from Atlantic Campaigns has been amazing.
I know that I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the love and support of my family, my friends, and my supporters near and far. Thank you for standing by me, and for believing in me, and for being part of the Melokuhle mission.
Please keep an eye on my website and social media pages for further news. I’ll be updating my campaign details over the coming weeks.
Light and love to you all.