Powell resident and former U.S. Navy Lt. Carl Christensen on Thursday joined three other veterans on a high-tech rowboat in the Canary Islands and began rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean towards English Harbour, Antigua.

They call themselves Fight Oar Die -- a play on Roman poet Virgil's "Fight or Die" proverb -- to compete in the world's toughest rowing race called the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge to raise awareness about veterans' health and well-being, according to a news release.

Carl Christensen, Fight Oar Die
Carl Christensen, Fight Oar Die

Fight Oar Die with Navy, Army and Marine Corps veterans is the only U.S. team among 35 teams from around the world.

This is the second year that Fight Oar Die will participate in the race.

Speaking in La Gomera, Canary Islands, ahead of the race, former Marine & Purple Heart recipient Evan Stratton of Fight Oar Die said the team competes for personal and social reasons.

"Veterans definitely have a wild spirit that makes them duly capable of taking on this challenge – it’s a huge advantage having a military background because we are used to being in an austere environment, so we don’t have to overcome those kinds of mental challenges because we have been in them and thrived in them before," Stratton said.


"Getting out into nature is something our team have talked about a lot – there are no other challenges that allow you to remove yourself from all inputs [of modern life] in the way the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge does," he said. "You can go camping for a week and turn your phone off – but nothing removes you like the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge and is something we’re all excited about.”

You can track the progress of the race at taliskerwhiskyatlantichallenge.com.

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