Five women made history in the summer of 2016 setting a number of world firsts and world records. Departing from New York at midday on 7th June, they spent 48 days at sea before passing the latitude of Bishops Rock on the 26th July. The crew then rowed on to Falmouth (UK) to establish a new land to land world record. During their 49 days at sea the crew experienced a huge array of challenges; as they worked to predict the power of the wild Atlantic; the physical endeavor of rowing ‘2 hours on 2 hours off’ and the sheer emotional feelings of pure joy and raw fear.
While liberty didn’t set a new overall world record for the ‘classic’ New York to Isles of Scilly route, they did set some world firsts….
- The first British Women to row the North Atlantic west to east. Some 50 years after Chay Byth and John Ridgeway accomplished the feat in 1966 in 90 days.
- The first women’s crew to row the North Atlantic west to east.
- Molly Brown became the youngest women to row an ocean at 20 years old.
and some world speed records…
- The female record for crossing the North Atlantic west to east of 48days 13hrs and 49mins.
- The record for crossing from USA to UK land to land in a time of 49days 13hrs and 27mins.
- The female record for crossing from USA to UK land to land in a time of 49days 13hrs and 27mins.
A brief history of North Atlantic rowing:
The first ever ocean row was completed by Norwegians Samuelson and Harbo in 1896, making the 2,900 NM crossing from New York to the Isles of Scilly in 55 days.
In 1966 Chay Blyth and John Ridgeway crossed from Cape Cod to the Arran Isles in 90 days.
There are three other amazing women that have rowed the North Atlantic west to east before 2016; Maud Fontenoy (2003 in 117 days), Anne Quéméré (2004 in 87 days) and Mylene Paquette (2013 in 129days). All three women crossed in solos.
There have been less than 30 successful North Atlantic crossings, 10 of which followed the ‘classic’ route. There are around 700 people that have rowed an ocean, yet only only 65 have crossed the North Atlantic west to east. With a less than 50% success rate, it is considered one of the hardest ways to cross an ocean.
The New York to the Isle of Scilly route is the ‘classic’ route and the most historic of all ocean rowing records. Samuelson and Harbo’s record was not broken until 2010, when team Artemis (4) made the same crossing in 43 days.