British Female Four Finish Atlantic Adventure To Build Plastic-Free Legacy
In the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, British team Row for the Ocean became the first all-female crew to reach the finish line of the 2018/19 race. Rowing 3,000-miles across the Atlantic, the wild spirit adventurers completed the world’s toughest row in aid of raising awareness of ocean plastic pollution for charity Surfers Against Sewage.
Kirsty Barker (28), Kate Salmon (31), Rosalind West (36) and Laura Try (36), known as team Row for the Ocean, arrived in English Harbour, Antigua, after spending 43 days, 2 hours and 20 minutes at sea. The crew were continuously challenged with early seasickness and power issues, and had to dig deep physically and mentally as they battled against four-man team Atlantic Seaman, in which they conquered to take tenth place in a close race to the finish with only 2 hours between them.
On their journey of self-discovery, exhilaration, fearlessness and freedom, Row for the Ocean were also privy to breath-taking sea life where they were joined by whales which followed them for 30 minutes. This amazing moment was tainted by the fact that they saw plastic everyday on their crossing, which is why their cause for Surfers Against Sewage is so important. The money raised will help the charity to invest in protecting and cleaning up the ocean environment, making sure it can be enjoyed by generations to come.
Each member of the crew shares a genuine connection to the outdoors and the sea, inspired by their life journeys and mutual respect for the rugged coastlines, whether it be in their day to day jobs, or in their spare time. Laura works for an ocean rowing boat builder and only took up rowing as she approached the age of 30; Kate is a Scientific Consultant for the Metropolitan Office; and Ros and Kirsty both grew up by the sea and are keen rowers, who are part of Exeter Rowing Club with Kate. Before the team set off from La Gomera, Canary Islands, to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, they were campaigning to make Exeter the first plastic-free city by 2020 which they will continue to do now they’re back home.
Skipper Rosalind said:
“We rowed an ocean to save the ocean, to put it simply. We did see some plastic pollution in the ocean during the race, more plastic than wildlife, which was upsetting at the time as there wasn’t much we could do there and then. However, this is why we signed up to the race – to raise awareness of how much our seas are damaged by this unnecessary pollution, and how with small steps we can all change this. Seeing it out there first-hand had a big effect on us all.”
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a unique, life-changing experience. Each participant burns around 8,000 calories a day and loses approximately 20% of their body weight over the duration of the race. Alongside the physical challenge, they have to work together to stay mentally strong as they spend Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve away from their families during this transformational adventure, which usually lasts anywhere between 30-90 days. Through the hardships, they will also be privy to breathtaking moments, being close to nature, amazing sea life, and beautiful sunsets.
Lisa Everingham, Global Talisker Marketing Manager, comments:
“We are delighted for Row for the Ocean and their determination in making the most out of every moment to finish the 2018/19 race. To be able to support them in this life changing adventure and to be part of their journey has been a real privilege. The race is a truly unique experience and one that encourages the teams to switch off from their busy everyday lives, embrace the elements and rediscover what matters most.”
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a unique, life-changing experience. Key stats include:
Current World Record: In 2018 the Four Oarsmen set the current world record for the fastest four-man crossing in 29 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes
Distance: The race takes rowers 3,000 miles from the shores of La Gomera, Canary Islands, across the Atlantic Ocean to English Harbour, Antigua
Number of teams: 28 teams with 88 rowers in total, started the race. One team, a duo, had to retire in the first few weeks.
Participating countries: UK, USA, France, South Africa, Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Italy, Bermuda and Antigua
Calories burned: 8,000 a day, losing 20% of their body weight over the duration of the race
Motivation: Each team will raise money for their own chosen charity which keeps them rowing to complete the adventure of a lifetime