The 2018 Challenge
In January 2018, I will be rowing solo and unsupported, 3000 miles across the Atlantic from Grand Canaria to Barbados.
I will not only be looking to add my name to the handful of 5 women who have successfully made the crossing solo, but will also be aiming to cross the ocean in a world record time of 45 days – 11 days less than the current record of 56 days.
I will follow in the direction of the trade-winds, aiding my crossing, but that doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing. The weather has a large part to play in the comfort of the row and anything from mirror calm to 40ft waves will be encountered, not to mention, dark nights rowing, flying fish in the face, sleep deprivation, muscle pains, blisters, sea-sickness, loneliness and potential hallucinations.
As for the why, have a look at the video below or some of the others available on YouTube.
Training and technical
The carbon fibre, world-class boat holds the world record for the fastest solo male, held by Charlie Pitcher in 2013. With everything that is needed to sustain me for the duration, it is a feat of engineering.
As a non rower, I am not only having to get fit and learn all about the ocean and life at sea, but I have also had to learn to row. Nothing is too difficult to learn, given the right support, so I am working closely with Charlie Pitcher (Rannoch Adventure) and Guin Batten, Silver Olympic medalist and world record holding for ocean rower. By the time I leave for Barbados, I will have spent up to 1000 hours on board, with my routine perfected and ready to tackle the abyss, alone!
Life on board
Life on board is very different to life on land. Basic dried food, small spaces, serious routine, no one to talk to, power from the sun, rowing up to 16 hours a day (that’s a bad day!), 5-meals a eating 6000kcal, a bucket as a toilet, no social pressures, no evening relaxing, an ocean as a back garden, hallucinations, dolphins as friends and monotony like none other. Physical fitness is key but the mental challenge is enough to test anyone to their limits. The mind is a very powerful organ and I’m really interested in testing it to its full!
Dream big . Strive for more
This challenge proves that anyone can attempt anything given the right attitude, belief and support. I want to use my story to inspire women to challenge themselves. Whether a physical, social or mental challenge, recognising the journey and developments you make, is key to developing confidence and independence. I also promote integrity, a value that has been instrumental in getting me to this point.
Being honest with who you are, and what you believe, in addition to the working relationships you develop has a profound effect on your long-term happiness and success. The support I have received from friends and strangers has been incredible and something I attribute to being honest with myself, friends, family and those I meet.
I am available to for talks which focus on human challenges and empowerment. Whilst my message is largely aimed at women, everything is transferable across genders. I also talk about my own challenge in 2018 – rowing the Atlantic unsupported – and the mental and physical strength, endurance and commitment required. Please get in touch for more information.
Support the Challenge
Whether you want to be part of the team promoting the empowering of women, donate to King’s College Hospital – Support King’s, or perhaps you want to develop a skill you feel you can offer me, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and support me.
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