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As one of the sponsors of the intrepid Yorkshire Rows, we recently received an update on their progress – an email sent from the mid Atlantic. Janette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies are rowing from La Gomera to Antigua to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre. It's all part of the gruelling Talisker Whisky Challenge, in which 32 teams pit their wits against all that the sea can throw at them. Here's what Yorkshire Rows have to say about their adventure so far.


We have just reached a major milestone in our journey, having passed the halfway mark. With a large part of the Atlantic and a major storm behind us we are extremely pleased to have reached this distance. Amongst other things we have had to deal with severe seasickness (especially Helen), major electrical failure and all topped off by a tropical storm which confined us to our very cosy cabins for over three days as it was too dangerous to venture on deck.

The loss of electrics meant we had to handpump our drinking water and steer by hand, taking time away from rowing and making progress a bit slower. The electrical problems have improved and we are able to manage the issues we have had, and we are now very into our routine of row, eat, sleep and repeat!

Despite the difficulties we are all in good spirits, well and safe. We have had some amazing experiences so far and been lucky enough to have been joined by some fantastic wildlife, including dolphins and a whale with baby which seemed keen to make friends.

Not so great are the pesky little flying fish that fly out and hit you on the face unexpectedly, or end up on the boat, too small to find and very smelly!

We very much hope that this little journey of ours will inspire others, particularly children. If four normal mums from Yorkshire can decide to row the Atlantic, then hopefully this shows that with perseverance and hard work the seemingly impossible is achievable.

We have made some resources available on our website, aimed squarely at children and schools. Just hit the download button and you can use the information available.

Without the help of you, our sponsors and supporters, we would not be able to undertake this adventure and it is great to get the messages and to think that you are all thinking of us in the middle of the Atlantic. Thank you very much for all your support and please keep it coming.

In the meantime, please find below a link to a couple of short films showing details of the storm we had to deal with and the journey so far.

All for now, we will update you further when we are able.
Love and best wishes
Yorkshire Rows x
“It’ll be fine”


Useful reading: Row, row, row your boat.


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