Way back in October of last year I told you about an all-woman rowing team that was set to take part in the Woodvale Challenge, an annual race across the Atlantic Ocean in row boats. At the time, the ladies who made up the Row For Freedom team were hoping to not only complete the crossing, but nab a few records in the process. This past weekend, they reached the finish line, and accomplished some major milestones as well.
The team, which consists of Julia Immonen, Debbie Beadle, Helen Leigh, Kate Richardson, and Katie Pattison-Hart, started their adventure in the Canary Islands on December 7th. The team rowed in shifts, 24-hours per day, covering 4205km (2613 miles) in just 45 days, 15 hours, and 26 minutes, before arriving in Barbados in the Caribbean Sea. Their time marked a record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by an all female team and they became the first 5-woman squad to row any ocean at all.
While rowing the Atlantic Ocean is a great achievement and an impressive adventure in and of itself, the girls had bigger aspirations in mind when they set out. The team partnered with two charities, ECPAT UK and The A21 Campaign, both of which are working hard to stamp out human trafficking. The Row For Freedom effort was designed to raise awareness of this issue, which continues to be a very real and scary activity in many parts of our planet.
Congratulations to the entire team on a job well done. Amazing work!