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Female Crew webpageTHE CHALLENGE

Oceanus Rowing have put together this crew of 4 women to chase the current female Atlantic speed record – this is set at 45 days, 15 hours and 26 minutes.  Currently it is held by an amazing group of five women, who in Dec 2011 / Jan 2012, rowed in our beloved boat “Oystershack” (which they named “Guardian”) from La Gomera in the Canaries to Barbados.

Both Simon Chalk and Gemma Chalk were involved in the RowForFreedom project as organisers of the Atlantic Rowing Race at the time.  The crew of 5 smashed the previous female record by taking five days off it!

IMG_0002The female Atlantic crew for January 2016 will be taking a slightly different route – from Gran Canaria in the Canaries to Barbados, some 2602nm (2994 miles) and will be chasing down the record that the RowForFreedom crew set, as a crew of 4 rather than 5.  They will row two-up, 24 hours a day all the way.  There are no home comforts in this challenge – a bucket (!) is the toilet; there is no bathroom, and this gruelling physical effort will be fuelled by high calorific freeze dried foods and supplements.

The girls will be rowing onboard “Fire Ant” – an ocean rowing boat with two previous Atlantic crossings under its belt already.  Not only a record to race against, they are also aiming to raise lots of money for two charities – Barnardo’s Children Charity & the Forces Children’s Trust.  You can donate at: and ALL the funds raised will be going to these worthwhile causes.


IMG_0007GEMMA CHALK – British (Age 33) Based in Staffordshire, from Devon.

Gemma has been organising ocean rowing projects for others now full time for the past four years and each time wishes she was going too! Married to ocean rower Simon Chalk, who holds the record for the most ocean rows, Gemma wants to go out there and experience it for herself.  Previously a Sales Manager for an estate agency in Devon, she left in 2011 and hasn’t looked back.  Whilst rowing isn’t her main sport, Gemma does a lot of running, circuit training, cycling and fitness classes – she is stepping this up in preparation for the row!  Gemma works full time at Oceanus Rowing and is looking forward to making this dream a reality.


IMG_0006 CLARE LANYON – British (Age 45) Based in Saltash, Cornwall.

Clare is a busy mum to teenagers Leonie & Isaac; works as a receptionist and is rowing mad!  She has been rowing for over thirty years and gets out on the water at any opportunity she can.  She rows Cornish gigs, flashboats, skiffs and competes regularly in rowing events and regattas in the UK and on the continent.  Recently she has joined another club to row fine boats as well!  Clare comes from a family of rowers – from a young age, her dad taught her to row alongside her two sisters and brother.  Clare subsequently taught her own children to row.  She is looking forward to the excuse to spend over a month indulging her passion – rowing!!



JANE MCINTOSH – British (Age 36) From Martley, Worcestershire.

Jane is a full-time serving RAF Sergeant with a busy work schedule, and is often posted away for months at a time.  However when she can, she indulges in rowing – she has been mainly river rowing (and some coastal) for over 15 years and coaches regularly too.  Jane learnt to row at Evesham Rowing Club and used to live in France where she rowed and competed for Toulon Rowing Club.  In December 2013, she took part in the Talisker Atlantic Rowing Race as a mixed crew of 4 but sadly had to abandon their vessel halfway across due to problems with the rudder.  For her, this is unfinished business!  She also thanks her sponsors for this event – The Who Shop and Endurance Wind Power.


IMG_0005OLIVIA WILSON – British (Age 27) From Anglesey, N Wales.

Olivia is currently a serving Officer in the Army, although is leaving in November 2015 to pursue other ambitions.  Recently having completed an 82-mile Ultra marathon, Liv has set herself some physically and mentally arduous events to do and an ocean row is one of them!  She has spent time as a Warfare Officer with the Royal Navy; has done river rowing at University and during her military career and is a keen runner, mountain biker and skier – she has also recently learnt to kite surf.  Sheer grit and determination to take on a task like the Atlantic should be no problem for Liv!


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As one of the UKs leading childrens charities, Barnardos works directly with over 200,000 children, young people and their families every year. We run over 900 vital projects across the UK, including counselling for children who have been abused, fostering and adoption services, vocational training and disability inclusion groups.

Every Barnardos project is different but each believes in the potential in every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. Whatever the issue from drug misuse to disability; youth crime to mental health; sexual abuse to domestic violence; poverty to homelessness; Barnardo’s believes we can bring out the best in every child.

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The Forces Childrens Trust are devoted to working together to help children in need whose father or mother has died, or has been seriously injured, whilst a serving member of the British Armed Forces.

The Forces Childrens Trust is a non-profit organisation and the dedication of those involved ensures that the administrative costs are kept to a minimum, allowing all donations to be allocated exclusively to the needs of the children.

This ensures that the children alone benefit from your generosity and that smiles eventually return to their young faces.