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NEWS > Alumnae News > New Ocean-Rowing Record Bid

New Ocean-Rowing Record Bid

Adventure-hungry Charlotte Irving, Class of 2008, who broke the World Record for rowing across the Atlantic in a three-woman team, is doing it all again – this time by rowing across the Pacific Ocean.
Charlotte Irving, centre.
Charlotte Irving, centre.

Alumnae will remember that Charlotte Irving smashed the existing record for rowing across the Atlantic in the Talisker Whisky Challenge in 2022. Team ExtraOARordinary, made up of Charlotte, LEH Head of Rowing, Abby Johnston, Class of 2007, and their friend Kat Cordiner, crossed the finishing line in just 42 days, slashing the record by an entire week.

After the race, Charlotte became friends with two women from rival teams and the trio have now decided to team up to take on a new challenge. Her new team mates are Taylor Winyard, World Record holder from team Atlantic Nomads, and Jess Goddard from team In Deep Ship. Together, they are now called Pacific Triow and will be taking part in the race, known as the ‘world’s toughest row’, in June.

They will complete their 2,800 nautical mile epic row, unsupported from Monterey, California, to Hawaii, in their boat ‘Weird Barbie’, so-called in honour of the Barbie movie character and her traits of being totally autonomous and playing too hard.

The British trio hope to complete the crossing in under 40 days to beat the existing record, despite the technically challenging conditions. One of their first tasks will be to take on the famous ‘wall of wind’ off the Californian coast, which can easily capsize boats, as well as dealing with the menacing presence of killer sharks and orca whales, plus giant turtles and sea lions.

Only 12 boats will be taking part in the summer challenge which ends in Hanalei Bay on the stunning island of Kaua’i where Jurassic Park was filmed. The trio hope to make the crossing in 38 days, beating the existing record by just two days and aim to raise over £100,000 for Cancer Research and Sports Aid.

Charlotte said: “We all loved our Atlantic crossing so much and we raised over £140k for our chosen charities in the process, that when the opportunity to tackle another ocean and another World Record came around, we grabbed it with all six hands!”

The three women are also aiming to close the ‘gender adventure gap’ and encourage a generation of women ‘to live their wildest dreams.’

Charlotte added: “Adventure sports are male dominated, with most high-profile events and expeditions featuring male athletes. In Ocean Rowing for example, only 25% of participants are female. This makes it much harder for women to secure sponsorship and funding, as women do not have the same level of exposure and recognition as their male counterparts.

“Fewer women receive funding for adventure sports due to a lack of visibility and representation in the industry. By increasing female representation in sport and adventure we can work towards greater gender equality across the spectrum.

“When women have equal opportunities to participate in sport and adventure, it has a ripple effect on attitudes in areas such as employment, equal pay and leadership roles.

“Greater female representation in sport and adventure has clear economic benefits. Not only can it lead to increased interest and investment in women’s sports and outdoor pursuits, but according to a study by the Women’s Sports Foundation, girls who participate in sport are more likely to have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem than those who do not, and are more likely to go after and secure leadership roles.”

The team are hoping to raise over £100,000 for charities Cancer Research UK and SportsAid - to help in the fight against cancer, and to fund girls and women to continue to thrive in sport. We are calling on all our alumnae to get behind Charlotte and the team and show them some LEH love and support. To learn more about their challenge and sponsorship opportunities, go to https://www.pacifictriow.com/

To learn more about the race go to: https://www.worldstoughestrow.com/the-pacific/

 

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