Row for two hours, then sleep for two hours, day in, day out – for 30 days and six hours. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is probably one of the toughest sports challenges there is. It involves rowing from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic to Antigua in the Caribbean – a distance of 4,700 kilometers.
On 14 December, 28 rowers and rowing teams lined up for the newest edition of this adventure, including the Swiss Mocean team of four with Luca Baltensperger, who is studying law at the University of Zurich. About a million rowing strokes later and they reached the finishing line last Saturday, arriving in the Caribbean Sea in third place. They’re the first Swiss to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. And in so doing, the four adventurers also raised money for an orphanage in Romania.
Luca Baltensperger and his fellow rowers Marlin Strub, Laurenz Elsasser and Yves Schultheiss spent three years preparing for the race. For Luca Baltensperger, this meant that he had to balance his preparation work with his studies – first during a Bachelor’s and later during his double degree Master’s program.
The four rowers are currently still in Antigua celebrating under the Caribbean sun – and recuperating. But not for much longer. Luca Baltensperger will soon return to the University to complete his studies and hand in his Master’s thesis in May.
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