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NEWS > Alumnae News > We Are ExtraOARdinary

We Are ExtraOARdinary

Inspired by the LEH motto Hope Favours the Bold, two of our alumnae are taking on one of the boldest challenges imaginable, as they row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean this December.

One of the alumna is Abby Johnston, Class of 2007, and current LEH Senior Lead Rowing Coach.  To help motivate current pupils to be just as bold she brought her boat The Dolly Parton into school this week.  She is pictured here alongside Rowing Captain Maddie (far right), and Vice Captains Emily (second from right) and Dani (on the left).

Abby has teamed up with Charlotte Irving (Class of 2008) and friend Kat Cordiner, to take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2021, as team ExtraOARdinary.  They aim to do it record-breaking time for an all-women crew, while also raising £100,000 for three cancer charities. For them, this is a deeply personal challenge, as Kat having already beaten cancer once, has now been told that this time the disease is incurable.

The intrepid trio will spend nearly two months at sea on board a 23-foot boat largely open to the elements, being tossed on the towering waves, facing the worst the weather can summon up, braving sharks, salt sores and shipping lanes, and carrying all of their carefully calculated supplies with them, as they row non-stop two hours on, one hour off, 24/7.

Abby says: ‘This challenge not only represents a chance for us to raise awareness of the massively detrimental impact COVID has had on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, but also to inject a much-needed boost to our three charities - Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity - all of whom have missed out on the usual fundraising opportunities since the pandemic hit.’

Abby and Charlotte both learned to row at LEHBC and were part of the crew that became National Champions in 2007. They then went on to row together at Newcastle University winning various national titles and qualifying for Henley Royal Regatta, but now they are taking on the toughest rowing race in the world.

We are calling on our wonderful LEH community to show them all the support we possibly can. We will be following their progress over the forthcoming weeks and months and cheering them on every inch of the way.

You can also follow their progress on Instagram: @weareextraoardinary or on their website: weareextraoardinary.com.

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is a rowing race like no other. More people have summited Everest than have successfully rowed across the Atlantic and with less than 20% of all ocean rowers being women, the team hope to show girls all over the country just what can be achieved when you are prepared to push the boundaries.

Let’s get behind them and show them some true LEH support.  Go team ExtraOARdinary! Go!

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