The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records




Little Lady, One Man, Big Ocean
Rowing the Atlantic

Paul Gleeson & Tori Holmes with Liam Gorman

ISBN: 1-905172-34-6
 Now you can buy it on for £12.53
Hbk • 234x156
Maps and colour photo section
October 2006


The tall, burly man asks: ‘Can you row?’ ‘No, never before,’ I answer, and mumble something about canoeing in school. 􀂦Well get in the boat,’ says Eamonn Kavanagh. That first day is hard. The hands begin to cramp, drops of blood start oozing through your fingertips …

Two non-rowers take on one of the great challenges: the Atlantic. Holmes, a slight 21-year-old from Alberta, and Gleeson, a 29-year-old from Limerick, met when Holmes answered an advert to drive support for Gleeson’s cycle across Australia. He had big falls - off his bike and for the woman behind the wheel.
Crossing a continent was not enough. Acting on self-belief alone, Gleeson and Holmes embraced the dream of rowing a tiny boat in the 2005/06 trans-Atlantic race. But first they had to learn to row! So they contacted the only Irishmen to have done it, Eamonn and Peter Kavanagh. The tough seafarers took time to give assent, but then gave their blessing and the boat called after their mother, the Christina. Always going to be a huge challenge, the race of 2005-2006 turned into a terrifying ordeal of storms and capsizes. Six of the 20 doubles, including another Irish boat, had to be rescued. They were thrown around by huge seas, saw whales and sharks up close, suffered days of thirst when the watermaker broke down and hallucination due to chronic sleep deprivation. But they persisted, with stubbornness, humour and a little help from a mysterious shadow.


Paul Gleeson from Limerick studied business. After time as a financial adviser, he craved adventure and packed his bags. In July 2003 he cycled 5,000km across Australia. In November 2005, Paul and Tori left the Canary Islands to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. In February 2006, they completed their epic journey after 86 days.

Tori Holmes from Alberta, Canada, went to Bangladesh after school and did voluntary work on various projects. After travelling throughout Asia on her own she met Paul in Australia. In February 2006 she entered the record books as the youngest woman to row an ocean.

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