Have you been diagnosed with a brain tumour? Order your free information pack.

All-women’s rowing team take on the Atlantic for charity

The women’s rowing team of three will be rowing over 3,000 nautical miles in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge.

all women's rowing team getting ready to row the Atlantic for the Brain Tumour Charity

Laura-Jayne Pattinson, Millie Frith and Frankie Tuck are set to begin this epic challenge on Monday 12th December. This all-women team will be rowing consecutively for up to 55 days as they cross the Atlantic Ocean. And, they’re doing it to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity. Starting in The Canary Islands, the crew will row continuously for 3,000 nautical miles until they reach Antigua.

All women rowing team set to row across the Atlantic ocean for the Brain Tumour Charity
Left to Right: Laura-Jayne, Millie and Frankie smiling in port

We’ll look at the following in this article:

Women’s rowing team training

Laura, 35, Millie, 26, and Frankie, 31, met at university where they discovered their shared love for rowing. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing. The group has had to overcome its fair share of challenges along the way.

“We have had a few setbacks along the way in that the boat needed to go back to the boatyard to be fixed for a while which meant we had a break in our training and the weather was definitely not cooperating with our training plans. But it all came together in the end so that’s what matters.”

“We also very sadly went down from a four to a three which has both been heartbreaking as we can no longer share this journey with Katy (who founded our crew) and has meant quite a few changes to how we row our race specifically shift patterns.”- Millie Frith, Office Manager

Being up against up to 40 other teams, there’s no doubt that the challenge will test them all to their extremes. The row brings its own unique set of physical and mental trials to overcome. Each team mate has their individual worries for the row.

All-women rowing team taking a selfie ahead of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
Left to right- Frankie, Laura and Millie smiling in a boat selfie

Laura-Jayne said: “I think being alone with your thoughts can be quite a scary place to be. We row at night on our own and I think this is where the importance of mental fortitude on the row comes in (plus I have plenty of audiobooks to keep me entertained).“

Millie said: “It’s hallucinations; once you get tired and exhausted or have been seasick for several days your mind can start to play tricks on you. We’ve already seen a few odd things when overtired on training rows but nothing scary. However, you do hear stories of rowers hallucinating other people are climbing on board and that does not sound pleasant.”

Frankie said: “It’s the inability to escape and take time out from the boat. Sometimes at home it’s nice to get out on a walk and take a breather to align your thoughts and come back refreshed and ready and there’s definitely no chance of that on the boat.”

“It’s also the constant need to focus 24/7, there’s no switching off from the boat, you need to be prepared all the time in case you need to do something and there are always things to be done.”

Eco-boat for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

Millie, Laura and Frankie are taking to the seas in their ‘Eco boat’, Vaquita. It is the first to have ever been made, named after the world’s rarest marine mammal. With the row taking up to 55 days to complete in treacherous conditions, they had to be sure it was up to the test.

The materials and manufacture processes used to build Vaquita were adapted to reduce environmental impact. Manufacturing processes focused on using renewable energy sources and the foam core was made using 10,000 recycled plastic bottles.

Atlantic rowing… for a cure!

The girls hope to raise £10,000 to accelerate a cure for brain tumours. Having already overcome so much throughout their training process and knowing the many challenges that still lie ahead, they are determined to complete the 3,000 nautical miles. And, they’re doing it in support of everyone affected by a brain tumour diagnosis.

Make sure to catch their livestream on their YouTube channel. Follow their journey on Instagram. And, learn all about their team on their website.