Carsten Heron Olsen , CEO Atlantic Campaigns.
Organizer of the World’s Toughest Row, The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. 47 years old, Living in Denmark. Married to Oznur and have two kids (William and Maya).
Jobs before being Race organizer:
- -Sergeant in the Danish Marina Corps
- -CEO, NYTAG DANMARK (Roofing company)
I bought the race in 2012 after my brother participated in the 2009/2010 race. I helped his team in La Gomera and also went to Antigua in 2010 and completely fell in love with not only the race but in particularly the beauty of Antigua and Barbuda just as I did in La Gomera. Both destinations are a big part of our DNA.
The previous race organizer moved the race finish to Barbados for the 2011 race. The first mission when I bought the race in 2012 was to move it back to Antigua. It took quite some emails to convince the Park Commissioner Mrs Martin as the previous race organizer had left quite a few bills and unfinished business, nevertheless we were able to announce the return of the race to Antigua for the 2013/14 race and we have now had 8 races finishing here (we changed the bi-annually race to annually after the 2015 race). Since 2013 the interest for the race, coverage and PR have increased every year. More and more family and friends to the rowers are coming out to Antigua but also tourists are returning and planning their stay so it matches our arrivals. This year we bring around 500 people over.
Atlantic Campaigns employs 22 staff members coming from 9 different countries. We got three locals involved (Kevinia, Charlotte, Travis and sometimes Jojo!!).
To date four teams from Antigua and Barbuda have joined the race which have made the race well-known around the nation.
In terms of the future the race is sold out for 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Therefor we are expanding to the Pacific starting with a new challenge in June 2023 from California to Hawaii – the goal is to open up the US market and the interest for the race but also to create awareness of what will be our four destinations. La Gomera, Antigua, California and Hawaii. Something that should be beneficial for all parts involved. The US market has a huge potential so the goal is to see more Americans doing the Atlantic as well in the future.
The annually race attracts teams from around the globe making it a multinational platform that attracts media outlets around the world. Each year the PR numbers increases and the race gets more and more followers. The two race destinations La Gomera and Antigua & Barbuda are gaining significant mentioning in media throughout the year and particularly during the race.
Through our partnership with Virgin Atlantic (Official Travel Partner) we are able to monitor the amount of visitors coming to Antigua because of the race and the numbers are currently between 400-550 in average per race with a staying of between 10-14 days in Antigua spread out during approximately 5-6 weeks in January and February. We are also seeing an increased number of guests returning to the island after they have had an TWAC experience at the dockyard.
Charities: A big part of the race is to raise funds and awareness of some incredible causes. The amount raised since taking over the race in 203 is currently getting close to 15 million euros.
For more specific number:
- Latest Race Report
- Last years Race PR video
As the 2021/22 race is still on we do not have the final numbers yet but to mention a few we have already been featured on BBC, SKY, The Times, RTL, FOX, South China Morning Post, Australia national television, National danish television, Swiss national, Dutch national and we have hosted several live reports with teams from the Dockyard etc… making it the most covered private owned maritime event in the world.
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