Women sailors row into record books
Sunday 22 January 2012
An all-woman team have completed a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, storming into the record books along the way, organisers said today.
The five-woman team called Row For Freedom completed the arduous task just after 5am UK time, arriving in Barbados after spending 45 days at sea.
They have become the first five-woman team to row any ocean, and have also completed the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an all-female team, organisers said.
The women were taking part in the The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Barbados, and are raising money for charities that work to stop human trafficking.
Julia Immonen, Debbie Beadle, Kate Richardson, Katie Pattinson-Hart and Helen Leigh, were greeted in Barbados by family and friends as they arrived today.
Skipper Debbie Beadle said: "We're exhausted and relieved. We've seen nothing but the sea, dolphins and each other for 45 days, so it's overwhelming to see all our family and friends.
"Our bodies are falling apart - we're waking up with our hands cramped into the rowing position and our backs aching.
"We've been on dehydrated food and desalinated water for a month and a half, so we can't wait to have some proper food and an ice-cold cocktail! Oh, and to sleep in a proper bed!
"It's all so emotional - and to break a world record too!"
Simon Chalk, race official from organiser Woodvale Challenge, said: "It's an incredible achievement.
"Rowing the Atlantic is one of the most challenging expeditions in the world, and it took real tenacity for these girls to get through it in such incredible spirits and break the World Record in such convincing fashion."
Row For Freedom were rowing to raise money for The A21 Campaign and ECPAT UK, charities who work to stop human trafficking.
Team leader Julia Immonen said: "Whenever we felt low, we just thought about the cause.
"No matter how much we were suffering we knew it was far less than any victim of human trafficking.
"If we change the lives of just one victim, then our 45 days on the ocean will have been more than worth it."
Immigration Minister Damian Green has praised the group, saying: "This is a fantastic achievement and highlights the level of commitment this organisation and others put in to fighting this terrible crime.
"Human trafficking is an awful crime where people are treated as commodities. I am determined that Britain becomes more hostile to traffickers, and at the same time more compassionate to victims."
"I'd like to extend my warm congratulations to all five crew members and commend their efforts to raise the awareness of human trafficking and, in doing so, breaking two world records."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile