A sister and brother rowing team are using the latest communications solutions from Microsoft while involved in a competition to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a 3,000-mile-long race.
Despite the two siblings being hundreds of miles away from dry land, they have been able to maintain contact with others using Microsoft’s communication and collaboration platform Teams.
The innovative tool is capable of application integration, file storage, video meetings and chat messaging, and has proved an invaluable asset to Cameron and Anna McLean while competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Through Teams, the two have not only been able to keep in touch with family and friends, but have also received race updates and crucial weather reports from their support crew back on shore.
Widely titled “the world’s toughest row”, the race sees entrants spend a 60-day duration at sea within a modestly sized boat facing many threats, including sharks, 40-foot tall waves and the possibility of illness. The gruelling schedule demands participants maintain two-hour shift rotations of sleeping and rowing on a route from La Gomera of the Canary Islands out to the Caribbean island of Antigua. While a mixed-sex team is not uncommon for challengers, the two McLeans believe they may be the first sister-brother team ever to take on the challenge.
During a Microsoft Teams call, on day 35 of the incredible journey, Anna explained that the Microsoft platform had provided vital support, enabling them to keep going.
“We can use Teams to communicate with anyone in the world from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. That’s been essential. Teams has been such a dream because we’ve been able to maintain a two-way dialogue with our family and friends back home, as well as our sponsors.”
Microsoft Teams has been specially developed, allowing those taking advantage of its powerful capabilities to use it whenever and wherever required. Ideal for those who work on the move, it offers a smooth and streamlined way of working alongside the more flexible hours approved by modern enterprises. Equally useful to those who need to remain in contact with vital support services, the sibling challengers have attributed much of their progress and speed to the use of Microsoft Teams.
Anna commented on the benefits of the cutting-edge tool:
“We have been able to share real-time updates and pictures and get information such as the weather forecast. That’s been a big contributing factor to the success and speed of our crossing. Teams has helped us navigate the best and most direct course.”
Using a simple set-up to connect to internet services through satellite, all the siblings needed to do was open the Teams app on their smartphones and communication was established.
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