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NEWS > Alumnae News > ExtraOARdinary's First Overnight Row on Dolly Parton

ExtraOARdinary's First Overnight Row on Dolly Parton

Showing the determination and resilience they will need to row unaccompanied across the Atlantic in December, our intrepid team of alumnae refused to be beaten when faced by a set back last month.

On a very sunny bank holiday at the end of May, the ExtraOARdinary trio of Abby Johnston (class of 2007), Charlotte Irving (class of 2008) and their teammate Kat Cordiner, headed to Burnham-on-Crouch for their first long row on their boat Dolly Parton.

Each team must spend a minimum of 120 hours on their boat before race start, with part of the qualifying rules stating that 72 hours of this must be one continuous row. Therefore, the team had planned to head out on the water on Monday morning, and not come back in again until Thursday. However… some thieves in Burnham-on-Crouch had other plans!

When the team arrived at the boat at 6:30am on Monday morning, they discovered that their boat had been broken into and lots of items had been stolen. These included: solar panels, tool kits, spares and most importantly the crew’s jet boils – which they will use to cook all their food. So, after a trip into Chelmsford to replace the key items and various phone calls to the police and insurance companies, the crew took to the water. The team rowed out of the marina, into the river Crouch and headed for the open seas.

The main aim of the three-day row was to get used to living onboard and doing all the things the crew would have to do mid-Atlantic. This included cooking while rowing, eating while rowing and, of course, using the “bucket” while rowing. The team even spent their first two nights sleeping out at sea, all of which stands them in great stead for an ocean crossing. The women experienced some glorious sunshine alongside some rough seas with wind speeds up to 30mph. This was a great test for their strength and determination and also the effectiveness of their sea-sickness pills!

With their first 72-hour row in the bag, the team is currently planning their next outing on Dolly Parton, as well as focusing their energy on fundraising. On September 18th, ExtraOARdinary will be holding a Charity Ball at Grosvenor House on Park Lane, so why not get a group of fellow alumnae together and support the team in their endeavours to raise £100,000 for three key cancer charities? All information about the ball and the team’s fundraising efforts can be found on their website:


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