An American and a Canadian woman just broke the world’s record by rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in 45 days, 1 hour and 27 minutes. They beat the old record, set in 2021, by 5 hours and 58 minutes.
Called “the world’s toughest row,” the race starts in La Gomera in the Canary Islands and ends in English Harbour, Antiqua. Lauren (“Nini”) Champion, from Annapolis, and Lisa Roland, who was born in Canada but now refers to herself as a citizen of the world, took roughly 1.5 million oar strokes crossing the Atlantic. For the entire trip each one rowed two hours while the other rested; then they switched.
Their open 25-foot boat, Invictus, was built for them by Charlie Pitcher, a rowing record-holder who also helped them train. The boat had no electricity; the women used solar panels for power to heat their freeze-dried meals and to run the desalinator for water. The start was rough; Champion said the wind gusts were 30-knots-plus, and the waves looked like mountains.
Champion has been sailing all her life and graduated from the University of Maryland. She works as a sailboat rigging technician. For her part, Roland started sailing when she was 19 and had aged-out of a foster care program in Canada. She’s now a professional yacht captain.
They met at the finish of the race in Antigua three years ago, and decided it was something they could do together. Champion trained with a rowing team in Annapolis. Roland was working on a yacht in Greece, so she trained with the national team there.
The two woman founded Ocean Grown to raise money to support maritime education for children leaving foster care.
Read more at http://oceangrown.co and see the video below: