In the 2015/16 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, Bella, Olivia, Lauren and Gee formed team ‘Row Like a Girl’, taking 40 days to row non-stop over 3,000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua.
Avoiding a low pressure weather system at the race start, they took a comparatively southerly bearing to the fleet avoiding a storm that hit on day five. Crews who took a more ‘direct’ northerly route were held up by bad weather, whilst the girls continued rowing and slipped into second place, maintaining their position until the finish. The girls also obtained two Guiness World Record’s for becoming the ‘youngest’ and ‘fastest’ all female crew to ever row across the Atlantic unaided.
The average day on board their rowing boat, Mrs Nelson, consisted of a 2hr sleeping & rowing shift pattern, to keep momentum in the right direction without loosing ground – a regime so perfected, the girls were conscious of minutes lost during each changeover on the oars (minutes that add up when multiplied over 40 days).
Enduring waves the size of houses, skin sores, sleep deprivation, injury, solitude, monotony and blisters, whilst always in the knowledge that emergency help could be days away… there is no doubt why this race is considered one of the toughest challenges on the water.