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MOMENT OF GLORY: Als, Valdez row into history books


MOMENT OF GLORY: Als, Valdez row into history books

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A DAY AFTER Barbados celebrated its 37th anniversary of Independence in 2003, Phil Als and Randal Valdez gave the island a fitting birthday gift.

The pair created history by becoming the first Caribbean team to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Dubbed Team Rowing Home, Als and Valdez completed the Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Challenge in just under 44 days, braving gale force winds, high seas, sharks and fatigue to row the 3 000 nautical miles home from the Canary Islands to Port St Charles, St Peter.

The efforts of the two led to them earning the National Sports Council’s Sports Personality Of The Year award.

Miscellaneous Facts

*Phil Als and Randal Valdez were named as Sports Ambassadors of Barbados after completing the Atlantic Rowing Challenge.

*In addition to winning the 2003 Sports Personality of the Year award, Als and Valdez also won the Senior Outstanding Sports Person – Male Award and shared the Minister’s Award with Chris Gibbs who swam the English Channel in just over 11 hours.

*The Atlantic Rowing Challenge is an ocean rowing race from the Canary Islands to the West Indies, a distance of about 2 930 statute miles.

*The race was founded by Scottish yachtsman and rower Sir Chay Blyth, the first person to sail single-handed non-stop westwards around the world. The race was first held in 1997.

*The fastest time for the event is 36 days and 59 minutes. It was achieved by the crew of Phil Langman, Shaun Barker, Jason Hart and Yorkie Lomas in 2004.