Worcester oarswoman and rowing partner determined to complete Atlantic adventure

Picture by Ben Duffy

Picture by Ben Duffy

Hannah Lawton (left) and Lauren Morton (right) with race organiser of Atlantic Campaign, Carston Olsen at the race start.

(4096047)

First published in News
Last updated

THEY may be more than 1,100 miles from their destination, but two determined sailors are not giving up on their challenge to row across the Atlantic in memory of a close friend.

Hannah Lawton, aged 25, a coach at Worcester Rowing Club, and her rowing partner Lauren Morton, 23, have vowed not to give up on the challenge to row 2,900 miles to Antigua despite only reaching the half way point of the race two weeks after their opponents.

The two students, who set off from La Gomera, Tenerife, in their Ocean Rowing boat in December , were hoping to break the British record of completing the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in just over 75 days.

But now after passing the 76-day mark of the challenge - considered one of the toughest in the world - the pair are now drifting 1,052 miles from the finish line waiting for a new rudder to be delivered.

The challenge has been besieged with setbacks including a fire in the cabin, their sat-nav breaking down and they were even capsized in rough waters.

And Miss Morton recently suffered a cut to her head after the boat capsized a full 360 roll.

Writing in their blog last week, Miss Morton said: "So here we are. The 11th of February 2014… with just a mere 1160 miles to go! Ha oh well, never mind, sometimes things don’t go as you wished or planned and that is a harsh lesson to learn.

"Alas, fear not, we are still here, smiling, joking and forever determined to finish…one day. I’m guessing by now that we are indeed the last ones out here, and so we want to congratulate all the teams in this year’s race, wow what an achievement guys."

Ten teams have now finished the race, Locura Rows finishing first on January 16 while Atlantic Inspiration were the last team to finish on February 7.

The pair who study at the University of the West of England (UWE) are hoping to raise £100,000 for Myton Hospice and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in memory of their friend Eleanor Rose Ellis who lost her battle with cervical cancer last May, aged just 23.

Miss Morton said her friend's memory was what was keeping them going.

"Quite early on we received an email from a mutual friend of Elle’s and it read ‘I can remember when just climbing the stairs to bed would cause Elle so much pain," she added.

"That line rings so loud in our heads whenever we doubt ourselves or our ability to continue, and so we push on and live for the day we can proudly step foot in Antigua."

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