Sarah Hornby: Inspired by others who have undertaken this challenge, it’s time for a girls’ 4 to take it on and break the record. Having previously been a full time offshore sailor, with over 30,000 nautical miles under my belt, I am familiar with the trials and tribulations associated with life at sea, and am keen to tackle something new. Mind is a fantastic charity, which not only seeks to support sufferers of a mental illness, but also those who are close to them, and there are a couple of people who are very close to me who have suffered from mental illness, it can be just as isolating for friends and family of the sufferer, and I want to help ensure that those people do not need to feel alone, ever.
Kate Hallam: A true adventurer at heart – from summiting Mont Blanc and Kilimajaro to diving with sharks, ice-climbing in Kyrgyzstan, trekking the Inca Trail, wild camping in the Borneo jungle, and mountaineering in Iraq – I’m always looking out for the next big expedition to explore the unknown and push my limits. After a couple of friends completed the race, it captured my imagination and provided an opportunity to blend my thirst for adventure with an extreme physical challenge. It’s been 10 years since I rowed competitively and my sea legs have certainly never been tested on this scale. Although a keen mountaineer and marathon runner, crossing the Atlantic would both mentally and physically go beyond anything I’ve ever undertaken before and I’m keen to meet it head on. As an issue close to my heart, I’m proud to be doing this race in aid of Mind to both highlight and further the important work they are doing.
Becky Charlton: Being an island girl from Guernsey and a water baby, competitively swimming the first 18 years of my life, rowing an ocean seemed like the logical next step. Despite having never sat in a rowing boat, the desire/obsession to row an ocean has been with me for years. With ‘how to row an ocean’ a regular google search of mine, it probably won’t be a surprise to friends, family and colleagues that this is my next ‘thing’. Outside my 9-5 job in Canary Wharf, the adventurer title is one I can probably be linked to. A keen snowboarder, jungle trekker, mountain climber (I met Kate climbing the highest mountain in Iraq), an officer cadet in the OTC whilst at university and a PADI Rescue Scuba Diver, nothing gets me going more than the highs and lows of a challenge. It is also the psychological challenge of rowing the Atlantic that really appeals to me. I always think getting through the hard times on an expedition are the biggest achievements. For me, this is one of the links to the great work Mind do – mental health awareness, education and support is vital to everyone and anyone, mental health illness does not discriminate. I am extremely proud to be representing Mind with this campaign and to be raising money for the fantastic work they do.
Charlotte Best: As a former competitive rower and avid lover of the sea, the idea of rowing across the Atlantic is enthralling and exciting, yet terrifying at the same time. Most of my time at sea has been spent in a large, ocean-going oceanographic research vessel – a little different to a tiny 4-(wo)man ocean rowing boat! Day to day outside the office, I can usually be found cycling, running, swimming or exploring. Or sometimes baking cake. I have a love for challenges and adventures; this has led me to an Ironman finish, a series of coastal trail half and full marathons, 100+ mile cycles and multi-sport racing across Scotland in a day. In early November I completed a 165km multi-stage race through the Omani desert! Whilst no stranger to a challenge, rowing the Atlantic as part of team Atlantic Endeavour will certainly be the most daunting challenge, both mentally and physically that I’ve undertaken so far. The times that we find mentally tough during the row will act as a reminder about the great work that Mind does and I am proud to be able to support their work through this epic endeavour.