In the 2015/16 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, Bella (23), Olivia (27), Lauren (26) and Gee (23), formed the team ‘Row Like a Girl’, ranking 2nd out of 26 crews – becoming the Guiness World Record breaking ‘youngest’ and ‘fastest’ all female crew to row across the Atlantic unaided.
It took the girls 40 days to row over 3,000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua. Avoiding a low pressure system at the beginning of the race, they took a comparatively southerly bearing to the rest of the fleet, avoiding a storm that hit on day five. Crews who took a more direct northerly route got held up, whilst the girls slipped into second place, holding their position until the finish.
The average day on board Mrs Nelson (their little rowing boat) consisted of a gruelling 2hr sleeping & 2hr rowing shift pattern, in order to keep moving in the right direction at all times without loosing ground – a regime so perfected, the girls were conscious of minutes lost upon each changeover at 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.