MEET THE CREW
So how did four women that all wanted to take on the Atlantic meet? Well perhaps surprisingly three of us met in September 2016 at the start of the new season at ERC, so in fact we'd known each other for less than a year before we agreed to take on the challenge. By training together 6 days a week, spending hours in the boat and days at regattas, it definitely felt like a lifetime by June 2017. Although we mostly spent our time talking about food...or rowing...or rowing whilst talking about food (our coach loved this!), we did at some points have 'normal' conversations and we knew what each of us could bring to the team. We met Laura in 2017 when we visited an open day at the boat-builders- when we heard in January that she was keen to row the Atlantic too we booked a trip up to see her in Essex and the rest was history!
As a physio living in Devon, sports and adventure have always been a part of my life. I have rowed competitively at university, run marathons, triathlons, scuba dived all over the world, been a horse riding safari tour guide, and interned at the European Space Agency. All these experiences have inspired me to challenge myself, and for the past five years I've set myself one big new challenge per year. I saw a team beat the world record for the fastest female Atlantic crossing and I decided, there and then, that was my new challenge.
Being outdoors a lot I see the effects of plastic on our coastline and in our seas. It's everywhere and the oceans are dying. So what better way to complete a row across the Atlantic than to do it supporting Surfers Against Sewage, who fight to save our oceans and coastlines every day.
Landscape Architect, LDA Design, Exeter
Having grown up in Somerset, we escaped to the sea at every chance we got - spending weeks at a time in our little beach hut in Mudeford. These early summers have stayed with me, giving me the bug for being on and around water.
Although sports have always been important to me, i’ve previously stuck to the muddier versions of football and rugby (albeit not necessarily drier!). After graduating from the University of Gloucestershire, I settled in Exeter and found rowing - being 6"1 I thought I’d better use my height to my advantage! Luckily my work and family have been very understanding of the constant training and my incessant rowing talk.
When Ros came to me with her idea for rowing the Atlantic I thought ‘it’s hard enough to do 2000 meters let alone 3000 miles!’ I don’t think i’ve changed my mind on that, but i can’t wait to see what the challenge will bring!
Scientific Consultant, Met Office, Exeter
I grew up in rural Shropshire, with the nearest beach 2.5 hours away. Nevertheless, the distance to the sea never put me off being a water baby and I made the most of diving into the nearest river or mountain lake at the earliest opportunity. My love affair with the oceans truly started when I studied oceanography in California and Southampton. Since then I have been fascinated with how the oceans and climate interact, which led me to working at the Met Office. After 7 years of studying the ocean, I realise it is one of the least understood environments on earth and needs our protection and respect which is why I am proud to support Surfers Against Sewage and their plastics campaign.
Rowing became my sport of choice at university and I have never looked back. There’s something about the total stillness on the river as you watch the sun rise which puts everything else in perspective, a peace that is hard to replicate in other sports.
I am always keen to start new adventures and this will be my biggest yet- I have had a bit of experience at sea since breaking the women’s record for rowing the English Channel in a Cornish gig boat alongside 7 other crewmates in 2013. I know that the Atlantic is a bit of an upgrade from the channel but I am excited to embark on it with 3 other fantastic crew members.
LAURA TRY 'LT'
Social Media Manager, Freelance, Burnham - on - Crouch
Unlike the rest of the crew, I did not grow up with sports and adventure in my life. It was only when I hit thirty that I had a burning desire to get outside and explore. I wanted to run through forests and up mountains. The only trouble was I couldn’t run. With practise 1km turned into 5km, then 10km, then half marathons and marathons. I then completed a non-stop 48 hour adventure race, where I realised I not only loved endurance events but I was also good at them.
That lead me to my next challenge to row 1,800 miles around Great Britain, a challenge that took 56 days and was the best experience of my life!
Rowing across the Atlantic has always been a dream of mine, so when Row For The Ocean asked me to join the team, I said yes instantly.
I am excited to row with an experienced competitive crew who are passionate about spreading an important message about changing the way mankind uses and deposes of plastic. Mother Nature and the ocean is so very precious.
We believe a serious challenge requires a professional support team. We have on board team a of nutritionists, physiologists and physiotherapists to optimise physical and mental performance before and during the race. Our entire journey from now until after the race will also be documented through our social media, keeping everyone informed of our progress whilst at home and at sea.
MARK 'CORKY' RHODES
World Class Sailing Coach
- Team Development and
Performance Coach -
Mark has been a professional sailing coach for over 10 years with a proven track record of success at the highest level. He works in diverse and challenging environments whether they are focused, competitive elite sailors looking for marginal gains or developing a world class cohesive team from scratch.
Mark helps organisations increase their productivity by developing individuals to perform at their optimum level within a positively driven cohesive team environment.
Mark is a very competitive and performance driven individual whose personal approach and core value is simple "it's all about you and your team". Mark utilises his in depth knowledge and experience within double handed yacht races, Olympic preparation, breaking world records and developing high performance teams to identify the key issues to increase productivity and team development.
Exeter Chiefs S&C Coach
- Strength & Conditioning Coach -
James has put together a programme for our land based training and keeps us on track, meeting every few weeks to reassess and tweak the sessions.
Olympic + Atlantic Rower
- Ocean Rowing Advisor -
Guin is providing the team with invaluable ocean rowing and training advise during the project. Having won a Silver Olympic Medal Guin went on to row the North Atlantic in 2015 in the very same boat the team is using!
University of Loughborough
- Sports Psychologist -
Fi is helping with the mental side of the row (this is 90% a psychological challenge, she has a big job to do!)
- ESP Physiotherapist -
Mike will be helping in the lead up to the row to get our bodies balanced and injury free.
- Ocean Rowing Advisor -
Having completed the same row back in 2016 Charlie is providing the team with invaluable knowledge and experience.
DR. JAMES BETTS
- Associate Professor in Nutrition & Metabolism at the University of Bath -
James is our nutritional advisor and will help us get the most out of our meals, without compromising our weight.