An all female crew has set off on an epic challenge to row across the Atlantic in a bid to break three world records, while raising valuable funds for Youth Sport Trust International.
The five crew members are attempting to beat the world record for rowing the Atlantic Ocean from New York to the Scilly Isles and on to Falmouth in less than 43 days in the Rannoch Women’s Challenge.
The formidable quintet will be led by skipper, Guin Batten (48), an Olympic medallist who has taken a sabbatical from her work at the Youth Sport Trust to row alongside Molly Brown (20), RYA youth team, sailing school instructor and oceanography student; Alex Holt (26), Sport marketing professional and water ski instructor; Gilly Mara (34), Team GB wild water racer, engineer and Youth Sport Trust athlete mentor in schools; and Mary Sutherland (36), Graphic & web designer, mountaineer and sailor.
Guin said: “The crew has been training for nearly a year and our primary goal is to break three transatlantic world records in what is a male dominated environment: The overall speed record; the first female crew, and with Molly on board - youngest woman.”
Gilly said: “Not many people get the opportunity to take part in something like this. The reward at the end will be amazing and it’s great to try to raise money for a great cause too. Since a young age I have been involved in a variety of sports and taking part in a sport has helped me stay driven in my academic work.
She added: “I came across Youth Sport Trust International through Guin and Gilly from this row and I think it is fantastic to be affiliated with a charity that does so much for young people.”
Their home for the next two months will be ‘Liberty’, one of the fastest rowing boats in the world, with the crew rowing in two hour shifts throughout the entire crossing.
The campaign is being managed by Charlie Pitcher, who has completed 2 solo Atlantic crossings, one in record time, and spent 15 years in international yacht racing for Great Britain. He is overseeing the construction and kitting out of the boat.
The crew has just departed from New York and aim to to arrive in St Mary’s, Scilly Isles in late July, with a grand finish at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.
Helen Vost, Director of Youth Sport Trust International said: “This is an incredible feat and we are wishing them a safe, quick and fast return home. We know that sport has the potential to bring out the best in people and this challenge will help raise valuable funds for Youth Sport Trust International to use the power of sport to improve the life chances of young people around the world."