3000 miles to go: Three incredible women rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in aid of Thames Hospice
In early 2020, Caroline Hague, Nicki Kelly and Rachel Smillie made the decision to enter the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge under the crew name Team Excelsioar. Here is what the team had to say about their challenge:
Dubbed the ‘world’s toughest row’, the challenge will take us 3000 miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda. We’ll row in 3 hour shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for as long as it takes to get to Antigua.
Setting off in December 2023 we’ll battle the elements, sea-sickness, dehydration and sleep deprivation to reach our goal. We’ll contend with 30ft high waves, storms, hallucinations, salt sores, blisters (on hands, bum, you name it!), the risk of capsize, sharks, and the less than glamorous toilet facilities (a bucket on deck). We’ll row in excess of 1.5 million strokes in the race and burn over 6000 calories a day. The row is unsupported and we will need to be entirely self-sufficient – if we run into trouble help will be several days away. At times the closest people to us will be on the International Space Station. There’s a reason why more people climb Everest every year than have ever rowed an ocean.
Why? This is the question we get asked most when we tell people what we are undertaking (either that or ‘are you mad?’ to which the answer is a resounding ‘yes’). For ocean rowers the simple answer to ‘why row an ocean’ is ‘because it is there’, but anyone who attempts something on this scale always has their own reasons for doing so. For Team Excelsioar, one of the major motivations is to raise as much money as possible for our two charity partners – Thames Hospice and The DASH Charity. We are drawn to both these charities for the essential services they provide in the local community. Thames Hospice is a charity close to all of our hearts because of first-hand experience with the huge impact of palliative and end-of-life care that focuses on the dignity of the individual and the well-being of both patients and their families.
We hope you’ll support us as we embark on this journey.
To learn more about the crew and the challenge they are undertaking you can follow us their Instagram @teamexcelsioar or take a look at their website.