In 2022, I will be rowing solo 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic challenge to break the world record for the fastest solo female- more people have actually climbed Mt. Everest than have rowed across the Atlantic. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the premier event in ocean rowing – A challenge that will take me more than 3000 Miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (17oN 61oW). I will be rowing for up to 18 hours a day, in temperatures in excess of 30 degrees and 30ft waves.
Rowing for up to 18 hours a day is exhausting, giving very little time to sleep, coupled with the fact that sleeping in an ocean rowing boat is often quite bumpy. Ocean rowers frequently report hallucinations.
Salt from the ocean gets everywhere, all over your skin and clothes. With nowhere to wash the salt can often lead to painful sores which have the potential to lead to infection.
With temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, no shade on the boat and rowing all day, every day, dehydration is a real risk. The onboard watermaker is therefore a vital piece of equipment.
Waves in the Atlantic can be big, really big, up to 30ft (9 metres) high, in fact. This may be ok in a larger ocean-going vessel but in a small 20ft (7.3 metres) rowing boat it can lead to capsizes.
Spending all this time rowing burns a huge number of calories, approximately 8000 a day. However, rowers typically only manage to eat 6000 calories a day. Therefore, Lara will likely lose between 10kg and 15kg on the crossing. This may be exacerbated by bouts of sea sickness which drain energy and motivation making it all that much harder.
I am supporting two charities- Plan UK and Our Only World.
Since 1937, Plan International has been promoting the rights of children around the world. They work with their partners in more than 45 countries, making sure children in some of the poorest communities are safe, and protected from violence. They provide access to essential services including education, healthcare, clean water and toilets. They are there when disasters happen, providing emergency relief and supporting communities to recover, rebuild and develop their resilience. Through their "Because I am a Girl" campaign, they are also dedicated to improving girls’ lives globally – including right here in the UK. By working with young people, they are challenging gender inequality, campaigning against harmful practices like child marriage and enabling girls everywhere to build a better future. Because I want to live in a world where every child, especially every girl, knows their value - and the communities they’re growing up in – and the world around them - values them to.
Our Only World
Their mission is to inspire and raise awareness of the fight against marine plastic pollution and its effect on our only world. Their first project is the manufacture of a water refill station. They have been awarded funding from Cornwall Council to site 15 units along the Cornish coastline from Penzance to Saltash. They have started work and are collaborating with communities about installation!