Burnham’s Ocean Sheroes rowers break Pacific race record


A TEAM of ocean rowers sailed into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Burnham’s trio Lily Lower, 27, Bella Collins, 28, and Mary Sutherland, 41, and Purusha Gordon, 43, of Wiltshire, broke the Great Pacific Race record as an all-female team the fastest four to row, 2,400 miles from San Francisco. in Hawaii.

The Ocean Sheroes crossed the finish line Tuesday in just under 36 days.

They are also the first All-British Four to take on the ultimate endurance challenge.

The women were all smiles when they arrived in Hawaii, although no family could be there to greet them due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Lily said: “While the night shifts were super tough when the waves hit us from all angles in the darkest darkness, the amazing sunsets and moonrise and surfing on the waves made up for that. ”

Flares lighting at the finish line

Bella’s brother Angus, 31, was part of a four-man crew that crossed the finish line after just 30 days.

The Lat35 team broke the previous record of 39 days, making Angus the only man to hold records in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the youngest man to have rowed all three.

Angus and Bella grew up in a family of sailors.

Their grandfather was a world champion sailor on the Flying Dutchman, and Uncle Charlie Pitcher was the fastest man to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in 2013.

Bella said: “Sharing another ocean crossing with my best friend and brother Angus was an absolute privilege.

“He’s my biggest supporter and I couldn’t do it without him.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

A moving team hug on dry land

“It’s an experience that binds us beyond anything else.

“We have no plans for another adventure – I think we both need to rest and recover now.”

When asked what the secret to Ocean Sheroes’ success was, Mary Sutherland said, “Resilience and a focus on goals are essential, as is knowing your team’s capabilities and how hard you can push them. .

“These ladies did not disappoint.

“We spent a lot of time learning about each other’s motivations.

“Personal goals and personalities are important in living in such close and intense conditions.

“Get into a general ‘do it’ attitude and you have a recipe for great things.

“My personal expectations for what our team could accomplish were around the 40 day mark and I’m so happy I blew that up, but we worked hard for our accomplishments. ”

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

The Sheroes ocean on the water

Since its launch in 2014, only 22 teams have completed the Great Pacific Race.

The Ocean Sheroes are looking to raise £ 60,000 for the Seabin Project.

Ocean cleaning technology helps create cleaner seas with healthier marine life by capturing around 1.5 tonnes of marine debris per year, including microplastics, microfibers, fuel and petroleum.

Since their departure on May 31 on their Fenris boat, they have rowed 24/7 in brutal conditions, taking turns in pairs to row two hours in a row, two hours of rest.

Sea conditions included waves of 30 feet, with wind gusts reaching 47 mph.

Fenris was custom built at Rannoch Adventures in Burnham by Bella’s uncle, Charlie Pitcher.

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