British Rowers to Attempt Arctic Ocean Crossing

Two British rowers are gearing up for what promises to be quite an undertaking later this year. Dawn Wood, and her husband Jamie, have announced plans to row across the Arctic Ocean in attempt to set a new record for such a journey on that body of water. But as with their past rowing expeditions, the goal isn’t just to set records, but is instead about raising awareness of the increasing challenges that the Earth’s oceans currently face.

Dawn and Jamie’s journey is set to begin in Tromso, Norway this August. After setting out from that city, their goal is to row north to Svalbard, covering approximately 1000 miles (1600 km) in the process. If they are successful, they would set a new mark for the furthest distance north any open-water expedition has ever reached in a rowboat. Even during the summer, they’ll face cold temperatures, frigid water, and challenge storms, although August is likely to be the most stable month to undertake such a voyage.

For Dawn, this will be a return to long-distance ocean rowing. Last year, she made a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the second fastest woman to ever complete that journey. Starting in the Canary Islands and ending in Barbados, she made the 3000-mile (4800 km) journey in just 53 days. That effort was all about raising awareness about the impact of plastics on the ocean, which Wood witnessed first hand throughout her Atlantic row. Even in the middle of the ocean, she found traces of trash that had been deposited into the water, where few places are still untouched by man.

This time out, Dawn’s goal is much the same, although she is looking forward to having a bit of company on this trip. Although only a third the length of her Atlantic crossing, rowing across the Arctic will present its own set of challenges, which is why she is happy to have husband Jaime along for the ride. For now though, the husband and wife team are still in the training and preparation phase, so look to hear more about this endeavor later in the summer.

Kraig Becker