GIRL POWER: All-female rowing team becomes first to complete trans-Atlantic race in eco-boat made from plastic bottles!
Image: Twitter, @ACampaigns
An all-female rowing team has become the first competitors to finish the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in an eco-boat - made from recycled plastic bottles.
The Bristol Gulls rowed into Antigua on January 27 - 46 days after setting off from Gomera in the Canary Islands 3,000 miles away.
The four friends from Bristol – Lorna Carter, Sofia Deambrosi, Phoebe Wright and Sarah Hunt – completed the crossing in a boat crafted from a range of sustainable materials including the core which was manufactured from recycled plastic bottles.
Chartered accountant Sofia also became the first person from Uruguay to row any ocean.
The team raised money for Clean Up Bristol Harbour and the RNLI in Portishead while also hoping to inspire small changes towards more eco-friendly lifestyles.
Sarah said: “It’s really overwhelming but a great feeling to be in Antigua and back on dry land.
“Whilst out in the ocean, one remarkable moment was during the pitch black of night when we noticed the blow of an orca whale before more and more appeared and were swimming alongside us.
“We’re never going to experience that again and it will stay with us all forever.”
The quartet documented their final few days on their Bristol Gulls Facebook page.
A post read: "All of our Spotify playlists have now disappeared now so we are down to two iPod shuffles that date back to uni days.
"These filled us with surprise tracks for the first listen, but as the total capacity of each iPod is about 40 songs, there are no longer any surprises haha.
"Currently, we are also listening to the audiobook 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama. What a woman!
"Thursday wasn't quite as cheery... From sunrise we had rain and it drizzled solidly for a few hours. 360⁰ grey. Oh and our speakers had no charge.
"It took a lot of perseverance for us to keep going as we slogged through unfavourable winds and swell that reduced our speed to under a knot.
"We even discussed if this was the worst day we've had yet!!! (All previous bad days have obviously been forgotten!)
"Even conversations about food we'll soon be eating didn't lighten our moods!"
The annual race begins in early December, with up to 30 teams participating from around the world.
According to the Talisker Whiskey website - rowers will row for 2 hours, and sleep for 2 hours, constantly, 24 hours a day.
More people have also climbed Everest than rowed an ocean, demonstrating the gravity of the challenge.
Rowers burn in excess of 5,000 calories per day and must aim to consume 10 litres of water per day.
The Bristol Gulls finished ninth overall in a time of 46 days, seven hours and 50 minutes.
The winning team was Dutch unit Row4Cancer, which finished on January 14 with a time of 32 days, 22 hours and 13 minutes.
Around half the teams are yet to finish.
Words: Oliver Buckley, swns
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