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3,000 miles of vast ocean to cross is a daunting task, but what makes the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge one of the world’s toughest endurance events is not the miles, not the blisters or the sea-sickness, or even the sharks and storms – it’s the pressure of being alone in the vast Atlantic Ocean. Today we’re giving you a summary of what the solo rowers have endured and enjoyed during their journey so far.

Stuart Connacher of Facing It rowed an incredible 82.8NM in 24 hours yesterday! For a solo rower, this is no mean feat. Congratulations on such a triumphant achievement Stuart!

Greg Maud of Sea Rover has been blogging when possible, and we even have a recording of a satellite phone conversation with the duty manager where he described his journey so far:

“I mean I’ve certainly had moments of extreme lows, asking why the hell am I out here, to times when you’re rowing under a beautiful clear sky at night saying this is just fantastic. I’ve had three visits from pods of dolphins, I’ve seen some game fish as well. It just gives you a little uplift for a while. So emotionally it’s a real rollercoaster ride.”

Evelyn Williams of Atlantic Answer is no stranger to adventure or travel, having already achieved the impossible by running the Marathon de Sables. Taking to the Ocean has been a sporting challenge like no other and an opportunity for Evelyn to test his wits against mother nature. By day 30, Evelyn has already covered 1250 nautical miles, and today has 1620 nm yet to row.

Steve Murphy of Atlantic Endurance is the oldest solo competitor in this year’s race, proving that at 57, anybody can lead an active, fulfilling and healthy lifestyle and push themselves to limits they never believed imaginable.

Here are some facts from Matteo’s (Sogno Atlantico) time at sea so far, according to a recent blog post:

“Matteo has cleaned the bottom of the boat twice, this means two dips in the sea (he remains attached to the boat with a safety line at all times and has a ladder to get out of the water).Despite the cold weather back home, its about 30C and higher for Matteo so he has used 15 bottles of suncream so far. Matteo will have eaten 155 freeze dried meals combined with snacks, and will have consumed approximately 186,000 calories since he left (This is the equivalent to 366 Big Mac’s or 1,476 glasses of wine – in 30 days!) However he is expected to have burnt nearly 250,000 calories through all the rowing to date.”

Callum Gathercole of Waterbabies Row has had some luck on the wildlife front, with dolphins surrounding his boat yesterday. Unfortunately he wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo…maybe next time! Callum has had plenty of thrills along the way, especially when he had a near-miss with a cargo ship. you can read more on that here.

Some stunning examples of grit and determination amongst the solo rowers of the 2015 race. We can’t wait to see what the next week brings, when the rowers start to ramp up their competitive game.

Today we’re talking about Lauren Morton, “British Adventurer” and skipper of RowLikeAGirl.

Some of you may be wondering “where have I seen that face before?” That might be because Lauren has attempted the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge before, but Lauren also appeared on our TV screens on Channel 4’s reality TV show, The Island with Bear Grylls in 2015.  She showed incredible bravery and resource during the show, and said the experience made her a “better, stronger person”. These are exactly the qualities that a capable contestant in this race requires, and as the team are currently holding fast to their second position, it looks as though the presence of these character traits is working in Lauren’s favour!

Let’s wind back the clock to the 2013 race, Lauren’s previous attempt. She was rowing as a pair with University friend Hannah Lawton. They were 96 days at sea, and the pair – one of 16 teams in the race – suffered what Lauren called a ‘catalogue of catastrophes’, leading to the decision to call it a day, rescued by a cargo ship bound for Canada. These included a broken autopilot, faulty compass, low pressure systems, a fire, a capsized boat, and various injuries, including a 7cm gash to the head.

Although unsuccessful in completing the challenge, her enthusiasm and determination to finish the race captured the hearts of people around the globe, resulting in both international and national press coverage.

Her application for The Island with Bear Grylls was successful, out of 80 000 applicants, and she appeared alongside 13 other women. The show involved 6 weeks of starvation and deydration, where the women had to do whatever it took to survive on a desert island. Lauren was dubbed “The Queen of the Island” by Twitter fans, and she was 1 of only 10 that made it to the end of the experiment.

Just 12 weeks after returning home, Lauren set her sights on the next big challenge. Running 7 marathons in 7 days, in 7 countries! A car crash in Belgium on day 5 meant that Lauren had to return home. Despite this setback, she went on to run the London Marathon with a time of 4.27.53 seconds.

Lauren strives to achieve the unachievable. She’s passionate about showcasing women’s strengths, both physical and mental. We’re convinced it’s this grit and determination that has got RowLikeAGirl to second position so quickly in to the race. With somebody like Lauren as a skipper, and the other equally driven crew members, Bella Collins, Olivia Bolesworth and Gee Purdy, success is pretty much written in the stars. Girl Power!