Bristol graduates become youngest women to row across Atlantic


By Charlotte Carver, Match Day Reporter

Two ex-University of Bristol students have broken the world record to become the youngest women to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Bristol graduates Flo Ward and Hannah Walton, alongside friend Georgie Leach, completed the 3000-mile journey in 52 days, four hours and 57 minutes.

Despite facing adverse weather conditions and the occasional flying fish hitting their faces, they reached the end of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. Giant waves the size of a house almost sent Ward overboard whilst also snapping one of their oars at one point.

After rowing around the clock, they reached the end point of Antigua. The girls posted on Instagram saying, ‘Our aim was to “do the Atlantic and do it well” … pretty sure we can say we have’.

The team had to face huge waves on their journey | Atlantic Campaigns

Whilst on their journey they did come across some difficulties. Day 37 was identified by Ward as being particularly challenging. ‘The combination of feeling completely wiped out and knowing that other teams had started to finish made it a mentally tough day’.

Ward studied Spanish and Walton studied Geography whilst at the University of Bristol. The two met as members of the University of Bristol Boat Club (UBBC). Walton said that ‘My time at Bristol would not have been the same without joining UBBC’.

Our aim was do the Atlantic and do it well

It was during their time with UBBC that they found out about the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. Walton said they ‘Heard about the race when we watched Callum Gathercole complete it in 2015 whilst he was part of the club!’

Together the girls raised over £13,000 for charities ‘Women in Sport’ and ‘Rowing Together for Healthy Minds’.

‘Rowing Together for Healthy Minds’ is a charity created in memory of René Zamudio who passed away in 2017. Zamudio completed his undergraduate degree and learnt to row at the University of Bristol so it is a charity with close links to the University.

Featured image: Atlantic Campaigns

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