Rowers back on track in Atlantic challenge

Picture by Ben Duffy

Picture by Ben Duffy

First published in News

AFTER more than a week drifting in the Atlantic, two determined sailors are well on the way to the finish line of an incredible challenge.

Hannah Lawton, aged 25, a coach at Worcester Rowing Club, and her rowing partner Lauren Morton, 23, set off from La Gomera, Tenerife, in their Ocean Rowing boat in December as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

But despite being the last team in the race after the other competitors finished three weeks ago, the students are determined to complete the challenge to row 2,900 miles to Antigua in memory of a close friend.

After drifting aimlessly, more than 1,100 miles from their destination after their rudder broke, they are back on track after a new one was fitted on Saturday.

Vicki Huckle, vice captain at Worcester Rowing Club, said they were now moving pretty quickly towards the finish line which they hoped to reach in about 20 days.

"They've done about 150 nautical miles since Saturday," she said. "Physically I'm sure they are really tired but mentally amazing."

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.

But Ms Huckle said their spirits were high.

"They are loving it, they just want to get to the finish line now and raise as much money as possible," she added.

"Everyone at the rowing club is completely behind them. We're just looking forward to them finishing. It's very exciting."

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.

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