ROWING THE ATLANTIC. //
Dubbed as "The World's Toughest Rowing Race", a 3000 mile nautical journey from the Canary islands to the Caribbean. Meet Katherine, Rebecca, Sarah and Charlotte, the Rebels rowing the Atlantic and aiming to break the current world record...
We’re so excited to have you training in preparation with us at 1R. How did you hear about us and why did you think we would be a good fit for your training regime?
We heard about 1Rebel through friends, and Kate made contact with one of your founders, James Balfour. With the strength and conditioning work that we are doing in the run-up to the row, we thought the high-intensity classes that 1R offers would be perfect for squeezing in a high quality session that offers something a bit different to a home workout, or just going to the gym. Given the repetitive nature of some of the training we do, having a bit of variety and atmosphere with different classes enables us to keep motivated for getting the training done.
We'll leave you to get back on the rowing machine for now and touch base in a few weeks, but are there any moments when you consider giving up and think that this might be too much of a challenge?
In all honesty, I'm sure there will be moments where we think that we might have bitten off more than we can chew whilst we're out at sea, but that's part of challenge as I see it. We're supporting some fantastic charities, and that's one of the thoughts that will help us to keep going. One of the joys of being part of a team is having the support of your team-mates, and so far we've learnt to work well together and support each other when we need it.
Follow the team's progress on their social channels:
And show your support: http://www.atlanticendeavour.com/#!about1/chi4
1. So, tell us about the challenge that you’re taking on?
Team Atlantic Endeavour is taking part in the 2016 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge; "The World's Toughest Rowing Race", 3000 nautical miles from La Gomera (Canary Islands) to Antigua (Caribbean). The race start is currently scheduled for December 14th 2016 (weather systems dependent), meaning that we will be spending Christmas and New Year (as well as a birthday for Sarah) at sea. The team is made up of four young women who are mostly London-based, with a shared interest in challenges and adventure; Sarah, Kate, Becky and Charlie. We formed as a team in the summer of 2014, and since then have been campaigning not only to raise the funds needed for this challenge, but also to raise money and awareness for our two chosen charities; Mind (the UK mental health charity) and Women for Women International (helping to support marginalised women in post-conflict countries).
Who’s mad idea was it to decide to take the plunge and commit to challenge?
Sarah, Becky and Kate had all individually tried out for spaces on other ocean rowing teams, before realising that they all knew each other and thought that it made more sense to form their own team. Sarah then brought me (Charlie) into the team as the fourth member, after I'd said how jealous I was that she was going to be rowing the Atlantic! The world records for a women's four and women's crew (of any number) currently stands at 40 days and 8 hours (set in the 2015/2016 race), however boats have been known to take as long as 120 days to complete the crossing. How long it will take depends a lot on the weather, but if the weather is favourable, we will definitely be having a stab at that record!
What’s your training regime like at the moment?
At the moment training is still a mix of general conditioning (weights, core strength, yoga etc.), increasing the amount of time spent on the rowing machines per session, and cross-training (running, cycling, swimming etc.) to increase our aerobic capacity and build our endurance. One of our main aims so far has been to try and minimize the risk of potential injury during the row by ensuring that we are training the correct muscle groups, overall conditioning and strengthening any weaknesses that we already have. We've been working with our strength and conditioning coach Andy Bruce to get us to a good place prior to the row. For most of us our training schedules mean at least one session a day, with rest days as demanded!
What do you think is going to be the hardest part of the challenge?
As a team I think we all have different ideas about what will constitute the hardest part of the challenge, with the most common points that come up in discussion as the following;
- The pure physical exhaustion of 2 hours rowing, 2 hours resting, repeated 24 hours a day, for as long as it takes us to cross the Atlantic.
- The mental exhaustion of having a very repetitive schedule for that length of time; keeping positive and focused on the task at hand
- Consuming enough food to keep us going, without getting sick of the food (Becky is particularly worried about this; as a vegetarian, her meal choices are slightly more limited than the rest of the team)
- Whilst not part of the actual physical rowing challenge, getting the team to the position we are currently in has been a monumental challenge for the whole team; we have had to get used to networking and fundraising, how to look at legal contracts, website design, budgeting and dealing with campaign finances, learning to row (for some of the team!), dealing with nutrition and new training regimes, working closely in a small new team, and above all, keeping positive and focused that we would reach the point that we are now at. Balancing all this around our full time jobs has been an uphill struggle, but ultimately has made us much stronger as a team.