Latitude 35 Racing Wins 2016 Talikser Whisky Atlantic Challenge in Record Time by Sticking to a Winning Formula of Resiliency, Determination and Team Collaboration

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Latitude 35 Racing Wins 2016 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in Record Time with a Combination of Resiliency, Persistence and Team Work.

The Crew Boat
“There was a competitive fire building between us till the very end," Caldwell continued. “But we held on. It was a race—and we were aggressive.”

Captain Jason Caldwell and his crew of Latitude 35 Racing recently won the 2016 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC), beating out Row 4 James, a tough competitor, and learning the value of building a sustainable team to achieve success through effective collaboration and unrelenting determination.

"It was certainly a much tougher race than any of us could have predicted," said Caldwell after setting a new course record of 35 days 14 hours and 3 minutes. "Even though two of my teammates had participated in last year's race you just never know what to expect--given all the unpredictable elements." Caldwell added that a fierce run by Row 4 James, a first-time race competitor made it particularly eventful. “They were right on our heels early on and finished less than four days behind us—that’s exceptionally close in a race like this.”

“There was a competitive fire building between us till the very end," Caldwell continued. “But we held on. It was a race—and we were aggressive.”

In fact, the four-man crew comprised of Jason Caldwell and fellow American Matthew Brown and two Britons, Angus Collins and Alex Simpson, did a lot more than “hold on.” They set a new course record and battled inclement weather, dangerous ocean swells and other unpredictable rowing conditions. Caldwell, fatigued but thrilled by the victory, was emphatic when reflecting on the competitive nature of his winning crew, “I couldn't have picked a better team."

Indeed, collaboration and persistence are two key reasons why Latitude 35 Racing won this year’s TWAC, a difficult 3,000-mile rowing race across the Atlantic. In fact, the whole time at sea was an ultimate test of four highly skilled professionals who had come together just six months before to create a cohesive unit.

“In the race, we solidified that tight bond, challenging ourselves and each other while dealing with the subtleties of teamwork created by a restricted environment. It was breathtaking at times at sea, but also extremely dangerous,” he said, the race still reverberating within him even today more than a week after its completion.

“During the entire journey we did not once have a major argument,” commented a tired but joyous Alex Simpson after the race. “We put any differences aside, and all focused on our sole goal of winning the race.” Indeed, the entire team was exhaustive but thrilled by their victory.

Caldwell said this year’s team brought together the best combination of energy, expertise, and mutual respect. “It’s not unlike what I do when working with executives for Latitude 35 Leadership,” Caldwell reflected. “In professional racing and while doing leadership training, I create teams that cultivate similar traits: effective collaboration, unrelenting discipline and clear communication, and all the while being solely focused on the task at hand.”

“In both areas of my life—professional racing and leadership training high performing teams are built from the inside out with proven techniques, behavioral change and determination to grow, and to improve on one’s prior results,” Caldwell went on. “My experience of participating in a high-performance rowing team in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean gets people’s attention right away in just about any business-related setting. Business leaders always see the connections. The parallels are really quite striking.”

Latitude 35 Leadership, is a leadership development company that builds high performance teams and offers consulting, assessment and individual performance coaching. Jason Caldwell has worked with companies such as Nike, Booking.com, Vanguard, and Deutsche Bank, and has trained executives at top business schools: the Wharton School, the Darden School, and the Business School at Columbia University.

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