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Ocean Sheroes Aim to Break World Record

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Four women calling themselves the Ocean Sheroes intend to row 3,600 miles across the Indian Ocean in April 2025. If successful, they will set a world record as the fastest all-female crew to do so. Only 10 women have ever rowed across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Mauritius successfully, and the current women’s record is 78 days. Ocean Sheroes plan to row two hours on, two hours off, all day every day for 60 days.

Skipper Purusha Gordon said their mission is “to help inspire others, to connect with each other, and benefit from the power of the great outdoors.” Supported by sponsor DryRobe, the crew is raising money for the Wild + Brave Foundation, which focuses on mental fitness and the health of the planet.

“Brutal!“ is how Gordon describes what it’s like to row two hours on, two hours off. “Especially those middle of the night shifts when it is raining and cold and you can hear the big swells of water but you can’t see them because of cloud cover. Aside from the physical demands of rowing in this shift pattern for weeks on end, it’s the mental strength which is required when every bone in your body screams ‘No!’ but you know you have no choice but to pull yourself out of your cabin and get on to the oars to allow you team-mate their well-deserved rest.”

Gordon says the effects on the body of rowing continuously for such a long time have are similar to flat-water rowing. “The body adapts incredibly over a period of time to the rhythm of rowing and whilst the hips and back wear and ache, the hands and bum are the most important parts of the body to take care of. As we only manage around 10 steps in a day from cabin to row seat and back to cabin, the muscle wastage in our legs is particularly evident when we try to stand and walk on dry land at the end.”

But ocean rowing differs from flat-water rowing. “Ocean rowing is an endurance challenge designed to test you mentally as well as physically. We row at a much lower stroke rate for longer periods of time. Learning how to surf the waves and navigating the varying ocean conditions are the main difference. Ocean rowers are thrown around more, and keeping a consistent stroke pattern is often impossible. We also live on the boat for the duration. Eat, sleep, row—repeat!

“When crossing an ocean by oar power alone, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature, contending with 40-foot waves, giant swells and often confused sea conditions, depending on the weather. A following wind propels you towards your destination, a headwind stops you in your tracks. Sealife and marine traffic are potential hazards to be aware of in addition to the mental and physical exhaustion we as humans will experience. Being a connected team with shared values on land before you set off is the most important part to staying safe while rowing an ocean.”

Asked if she’d recommend it to regular rowers, Gordon replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!”

“For anyone with a love for oceans, rowing and being in nature, if you have the courage to say yes to a challenge such as this, you will find it a truly life-changing experience. It’s where the journey and experience becomes more important than the time you finish within.”

In July 2021, the Ocean Sheroes set the Guinness world record for the fastest all-female four (open class) by rowing the 2,700-mile mid-Pacific east-west route from San Francisco to Hawaii in 35 days, 14 hours, and 32 minutes. They also became the first all-British four to complete the Great Pacific Race. The mid-Pacific record was broken later by four U.S. women rowing “American Spirit” in the summer of 2022.

The post Ocean Sheroes Aim to Break World Record appeared first on Rowing News.



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