For the past 14 years I have organised the legendary Jungle Marathon, an iconic 260km stage race through the Amazon Jungle, giving ultra runners and adventurers from all over the world the opportunity to take part in one of the toughest races in the endurance world.
Last year was my 60th and I set off on my own challenge- a 3,000 nautical mile solo row across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canaries to St. Barts, an independent solo unsupported row.
I started the crossing in late November. I then returned to port on November 28th due to problem with my tracker, and started again on December 1st .
To my horror on 11th December, my boat started to take on substantial water and I lost all my electrics and my cabin kept filling up with water. I was rescued by helicopter and then managed to recover my boat about 10 days later.
My boat has been surveyed and is ready for repair and I will set off again early February to complete my crossing and continue with my fundraising.
I am going for two world records: The oldest woman to row solo across an ocean and the first Irish woman to row solo across an ocean.
I want to prove to myself that someone ordinary can do something extraordinary and that a woman of 60 can do anything she focuses on.
The journey is around 3,000 miles. I will row for 14 hours per day, rest in a tiny little cabin the size of a cupboard, be subjected to everything the mighty ocean throws at me- huge waves, capsizing, sea-sickness, salt sores, encountering sharks, whales, dolphins, cargo ships - the list is endless and almost too daunting to consider.
The crossing is costing upwards of 130k, costs include a boat, kitting her out, buying food, gear, clothing, safety equipment, training, marina fees, paying for travel and transport.
I have self -funded over 92k , and raised £30k in corporate sponsorship.
During my crossing I will fund raise for one animal charity and one cancer charity. and the World Wildlife Fund
My pretty boat is called "Amigo". Amigo completed an ocean crossing last year, so she knows the way. She has also already capsized so I know that she can self-right if this happens.
I have been training hard, both on and off the water. I have taken exams in navigation, operating radios, first aid etc and am currently studying for my yacht masters ocean theory course.
I have learnt to swim ( I was a non swimmer up until 6 weeks ago). This is to give me confidence should I fall in to the water- though if I am in the middle of the Atlantic I wont exactly be able to swim to shore :) .
In terms of safety I will always be tied on to my boat, so that if I do fall in, I am attached and will not get separated.
This will be a huge mental and physical challenge.
I am hugely independent, and really wanted to get back to the start line all on my own, but costs are escalating ( I paid 10k to rescue my boat and repair will be about another 10k) so I would love a bit of support.
It does not sit well with me to ask for donations to charity and then use part of those funds to pay my costs, so this is purely a get me back to the start line page and the fundraising is a separate page.
Any sponsor in excess of 500 euros will have a logo on the boat- this can be your company or your name.
Every little helps, so thank you in advance for any support you choose to give, or for anyone you share this with.
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