June 4, 2015 oliviabolesworth

FAQ’s from Olivia

Sophie Bolesworth Photography

With 6 months until race date, Olivia gives answers to the most frequently asked atlantic rowing questions she has been asked to date:

1. How do you go to the loo?

There is a bucket… a test of balance i hear, especially when it gets choppy.

2. Hows the training going?

There has been no ‘formal’ training on a rowing machine or in a boat yet… We will start training as a team as we get closer to the launch date. I have been told by accomplished ocean rowers not to bother too much with rowing machines just yet, as you will be sick of rowing before getting to the start line, instead we are advised to do weights, muscle strengthening and other cardio stuff. Aside from that we generally keep fit as individuals, taking part in various events and general outdoor fun.

3. Do you REALLY row naked?

Yes this REALLY does happen… its not to get a consistent tan or to gain publicity believe me (in fact after a month or so at sea i should imagine it would have the reverse effect). This is done to reduce and minimise skin rubs caused by chaffing clothing and repetitive movements in salty water, nakedness prevents this (kind of).

Photo credit: yachtpals.com

Photo credit: yachtpals.com

4. What do you eat?

Dehydrated ration food… simply add water to a sachet and you have an instant meal in a sort of ‘peanut butter consistency’ (Quote Lauren). For my birthday a couple of friends gave me astronaut ice-cream to eat at Christmas for a treat – just so you all know… all forms of innovative non-perishable food snacks like this are very welcome!

Space ice-cream (can be bought on Amazon)

Space ice-cream (can be bought on Amazon)


The ration food we will be eating – spag bol… mmmmm!

5. How do you know the other girls?

Lauren and I lived and rowed together at University and have known each other for years. Gee and Bells I met through Lauren just before Christmas – there is no doubt this crossing is going to be tough, but at least I can guarantee its going to be fun with these girls.

Lauren and Olivia competing in the same boat together at University

Lauren and Olivia competing in the same boat together at University

6. Why on earth are you doing this?

I was asked by Lauren just before Christmas if I would ‘jump on board’ with her second attempt to get across the Atlantic… surprising myself at how quickly I said yes. After rowing and living with Lauren at university in Bristol, I knew also that she is one of the few people on this planet I could ever begin to imagine rowing across the Atlantic with.

Many people think that what we are doing is completely bat-sh*t crazy, however i am almost certain that if they too were given a real opportunity to do something as monumentally insane, many would also surprise themselves at just how easy it is to say yes.

Additionally, I don’t want to sit back in my armchair at 90 years old and really have to think about the cool stuff i did when i was young (like i imagine a fair few of our generation will) When I am all grown up and retire, I want to be truly exhausted.

7. How much time have you got off work?

Aside from the raised eyebrows when the initial Atlantic news bomb was dropped, Brandwave Marketing have supported the Row Like a Girl team from the word go – and that is inclusive of 3 months (unpaid leave) off work.

RLAG in the middle of a strategy morning with the Brandwave team at their HQ

RLAG in the middle of a strategy morning with the Brandwave team at their HQ


These are definitely the most popular questions I have been asked to date – any more please do fire away and I will do my best to add them.

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Comments (2)

  1. Just came back from Germany-China on bicycle.
    Thinking of what might be up next I study your page.
    Im deeply impressed of your adventure and will start rowing next week.

    YES!! DO ITTTT!! Iam really amazed.
    Your fan,

    • oliviabolesworth

      Many thanks Simon! Wow Germany to China on a bike – that must have taken months!? O

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