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Meet the Crew

Bella Collins

Bella Collins

Marketing at Scott Dunn, London View Details
Olivia Bolesworth

Olivia Bolesworth

Graphic Designer, Chichester. View Details
Gee Purdy

Gee Purdy

PR executive at Ogilvy Public Relations, London View Details
Lauren Morton

Lauren Morton

Nurse, Adventurer and Skipper, Leeds. View Details
Bella Collins

Bella Collins

Marketing at Scott Dunn, London

Bella was born into a water-loving family and despite 3 near drowning incidents before the age of 5 she is still in love with the water.

Her Grandpa was World Champion in Flying Dutchman and Hornet dinghy classes, her uncle has the world record for the fastest solo row across the Atlantic Ocean, her cousin raced the entire BT Global Challenge Around the World and her brother has just broken 3 world records rowing across the Indian Ocean.

Not to be beaten, it is now time for the family’s little girl to take on the big adventure.

Bella currently works in London in brand and marketing for luxury tour operator Scott Dunn. She has always chatted about ‘creating a big demand on her character’ so when Bella was approached by Lauren the challenge could not be turned down!

Olivia Bolesworth

Olivia Bolesworth

Graphic Designer, Chichester.

Brought up in Cornwall, ocean and the outdoors has flowed strongly through Olivia’s veins all her life. In her early 20’s she traded in a life of horses for motorbikes, and now bombs around the UK, Europe and beyond on two wheels at any given opportunity.

Olivia and Lauren met during their time rowing at University in Bristol, they competed in the same boats and shared houses together.

Gee Purdy

Gee Purdy

PR executive at Ogilvy Public Relations, London

From hockey to sailing, golf to swimming Gee is a natural, all-round sports woman, competing at many representative levels. With an appetite for adventure, fuelled by worldwide travel, Gee thrives off pushing herself to her physical limits.

Following graduation from the University of Manchester in 2014, she now works at Ogilvy PR London in Corporate and Consumer communications.

After spending the summer of 2014 living ocean rowing as part of the family and friends left behind, Gee was inspired to embark on her own adventure. When asked to join Row Like a Girl, it was without hesitation the she knew it was a challenge she wanted to conquer.

Lauren Morton

Lauren Morton

Nurse, Adventurer and Skipper, Leeds.

Having grown up in North Yorkshire, Lauren has always felt comfortable in the outdoors. It wasn’t until she went to university in Bristol that Rowing took over… 4 years down the line, many medals and a year’s captaincy under her belt, Lauren was eager to push the boat out that little bit further.

In 2013 Lauren and her teammate Hannah set off to row across the Atlantic Ocean as team ‘Inspirational friends’… 96 days later, after a painful accumulation of equipment failure and running empty on food rations, they were rescued and spent the next 14 days on an Indian container ship headed for Canada. After returning home some 5 months later, Lauren set her sights back on the ocean and Row Like a Girl was born.

Lauren also starred in a 6 week TV documentary ‘The Island’. She has set her sights on becoming a full-time survivalist and adventurer with the aim to enter the media. In April 2015 Lauren also ran 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 countries.

Instagram photo stream

The Challenge

Crossing the Atlantic isn't easy, but people have endured it for hundreds of years. The very first crossings were made to discover and explore new lands. Today, most crossings are made by huge cargo ships transporting essential goods. The race began from the inspiring thoughts and plans that Sir Chay Blyth had whilst he was rowing the Atlantic Ocean in 1966 with John Ridgeway. It was 92 days of a battle against hurricanes, 50ft waves and a near starvation diet.

It’s no surprise then that more people have travelled into space, or climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic. It takes a certain kind of person to keep going when faced with blisters, salt rash, sharks and sleep deprivation... That’s why the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is one of the toughest races on earth.


 What the girls endured:

    • Sleep Deprivation and Exhaustion: Rowing 24/7, non-stop, in a 2 hours on/off shift pattern for 3000 miles.
    • Isolation: We will receive no outside help from anyone, in an emergency situation a rescue can be 2-3 days away.
    • Extreme Weather Conditions: 30-40 ft waves, storms, extreme range of hot and cold temperatures.
    • Vulnerability: Whales and sharks, shipping lanes, collision course for vessels 30x the size of our rowing boat.
    • Health issues: Salt sores, Blisters/infections, muscle damage and depletion.
    • Nutrition: Keeping nutrition levels high and fully hydrated.
    • Solitary confinement: Keeping crew morale high. All the fun and games 4 girls can encounter living in a space the size of a bathtub for 2 months!
    • Rowing in darkness: Enough said- Yikes!
    • Looking after the boat and the equipment: All boat damage will have to be dealt with by us, no outside help can be received once we leave La Gomera port.
    • Scraping barnacles from the boat: in order to keep friction at a minimum, maintaining max speed

Lauren’s 2013 Atlantic Adventure

In December 2013, Lauren attempted the Atlantic crossing with her friend Hannah, raising money for Cervical Cancer after loosing their close friend Eleanor Ellis to the disease.

Unfortunately the girls experienced major difficulties along the way and were eventually rescued by a cargo ship after a gruelling 96 days at sea, ending up in snowy Canada rather than their initial destination of choice in the Caribbean. Here are a few images of their trials and tribulations from that outstanding adventure:


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