On December 12th 2020 I set off as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from la gomera (Canaries) to row 3000 Nautical Miles across The Atlantic by myself.
the Journey started way before this in 2017 where I first got my inspiration to row The Atlantic over looking the finish line in Antigua where I was travelling at the time. seeing what can be achieved gave me a goal to do it solo and become the youngest ever solo female to row any ocean. 1.5 years of continued travel and making my mind up if this was the thing for me, I entered the race. on entering I felt a relief, not the most common emotion after such a significant moment!
The next steps were getting sponsors, buying a boat and training... simple!
that as it turns out is enough of a challenge without having covid putting the breaks on.
Firstly I decided to get my qualifications that I needed to do this row of sea survival, that I had already done before, then first aid, again being a lifeguard this was easy. Then I had to do my navigation course, this was much harder than expected but along with VHF radio licence, I completed it and moved on to the next part of going to the startling to watch the fleet from the year before me set off.
I went to la gomera and watched the teams prep, annoying them all with every question that came to my head and trying to make as many contacts and friends that would help me out as possible. It was there that I met Argo, the boat I knew who would take me safely across The Atlantic.
January is when the training started in the gym with a PT that sponsored me. Then it was get as many sponsors as you can. I am so lucky to live in a community that offered as much support as possible and even through covid collected and raised so much money.
I then got Argo, much later on than expected, due to covid and then I could start rowing out of Hartlepool Marina, now the guys there are just the best, most helpful and lovely people, they made my training easier and enjoyable. I did my 120 mandatory hours rowing out to sea both night and day whilst training in the gym and organising kit, services and government registrations, meal planning, food buying and generally a lot of admin.
The time came and Argo got shipped off to the start were I joined a few weeks later...
Setting off on the row I was very nervous of the unknown, and after tripping out on sea sickness patches my start was a little slow. Slow enough in fact that I got caught in a storm not too long after, a storm that took me much further backwards than I could row in a day, making my moral as deep as the water I was afloat. 2 weeks in total of being stuck at para anchor I moved forwards to be greeted with beautiful skies, magical dolphins, whales and general wildlife.
There was a few hairy moments like nearly being run down b y a 800ft tanker ship in the middle of the night, and lets not forget about the capsizing travelling at 19.2 knots, the loss of things overboard and the mental battle with food as I just couldn't eat my ration packs but survived on chocolate instead.
Please come listen too one of my talks if you would like to hear the full gruelling details.