British female team first to row across the Indian Ocean


Four British women made history on Tuesday by becoming the first all-female team to row across the Indian Ocean, spending 79 days at sea.

The group, which calls itself the Ocean Angels, reached the finishing line in Port Louis, Mauritius, early Tuesday.

The women set out from Western Australia to compete in the Woodvale Indian Ocean Race in April.


'Shore Angel' Amy Green with rowers Fiona Waller and Jo Jackson in London last November as they were preparing for the race

Fiona Waller, 34, Elin Davies, 32, Jo Jackson, 28, and Sarah Duff, 25, undertook the challenge in aid of breast cancer research.

“To say it’s been tough is an understatement but what an adventure,” skipper Waller said. “We have seen the best and the worst of the Indian Ocean.”

The women rowed in pairs for two hours on, two hours off, meaning that they never had more than two hours sleep at a time.

Of the 10 boats that began the race, only five made it past the halfway mark and before this year’s race only two men had ever completed it.
The Ocean Angels aim to raise £50,000 for Breast Cancer Care in completing the feat, and skipper Fiona Waller, has herself fought cancer.
The same race was won by a male British team on June 26.
During the 79 days onboard their 29ft (8.8m) rowing boat, Pura Vida, the women rowed in pairs for two hours on, two hours off, meaning they have had no more than two hours sleep at a time.

They have also had to contend with rough seas with frequent swells of over 50ft (15.24m), hurricane force winds and intense heat, along with dangerous marine life including sharks.
Winds of up to 30 knots (Force 6/7) and waves of around 16ft battered their boat and smashed an oar, leaving them with just two left.They had also been living off cold food in recent days, after running out of gas used to reheat their meals.

Ms Waller said: "I can't believe we've finally made it - the first all female crew to row across the Indian Ocean
"To say it's been tough is an understatement but what an adventure. We have seen the best and the worst of the Indian Ocean.

"I'm really proud of what we've achieved both in terms of our world record and also the money we have raised for Breast Cancer Care."

She added: "I saw my mother, Elisabeth, go through and eventually die from breast cancer in 2000.

"I was also diagnosed with cancer just after my 30th birthday so I have seen the impact this disease can have.

"We'd like to thank all our supporters and sponsors for helping us all the way to the end".

 

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