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Four-Woman Team Aim Atlantic Rowing Record

20 August 2004

By Joanne Clements, PA News

A team of four female rowers are hoping to smash the world speed record for an Atlantic crossing, it was revealed today.

The crew will attempt to beat the current record of 36 days 59 minutes during their Transatlantic voyage from the Canaries to Antigua.

Skipper
Sally Kettle, 27, who successfully crossed the 3,326 miles with her mother in January last year, brought the team together.

Together with
Diane Parks, 44, from Halifax, Ali Boreham, 34, from Norwich and Claire Mills, 22, from Dunstable, she will attempt to row the race quicker than before.

Kettle, from Northampton, said: 的致e no idea how quickly we値l do it. It took longer in my last trip but then we just wanted to get across.

典his time we are going to go as athletes. We値l talk to as many people as possible who have done the race before and I知 sure we値l be 100%.

的t痴 going to be very hard. We are physically inferior to the men we値l be racing against, but I believe we are mentally as strong.

As well as attempting to break the world record, the four-strong crew are hoping to send out a message to other women.

Kettle said: 展omen don稚 have much of a showing in extreme sports and there are only 15 women in total who have rode an ocean before.

典hat has got to change and this is the perfect opportunity to make it change.

鄭lthough we are not physically as strong as the men, sometimes women are better at handling situations like this.

Team member, Claire Mills, a sports science graduate and amateur sweep oar rower said the crew would be training hard for the Atlantic race.

She said: 展e値l be doing lots of rowing, we値l have team-building exercises and I知 sure we can succeed.

展e are going to spend one weekend together in a single hotel room just doing nothing to practice keeping moral high.

Ali Boreham, wife of solo rower Matt, added: 典hese boats are different to row than any others.

展e値l need a lot of stamina. It will be a bit like running a marathon every day.

Kenneth Crutchlow, director of the Ocean Rowing Society, said he was delighted that boundaries were getting pushed in this extreme sport.

He describes the boat as being the size of a small bathroom and said the four women would be pushed to the limit.

He said: 的magine going into your bathroom, taking all the food and water supplies you need, staying there for 37 days and throwing water everywhere. It痴 a bit like that.

的t痴 a very extreme sport and very few people have ever done it, but I知 confident the ladies will make it.

The Atlantic rowing race is scheduled to take place in November next year.

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