Saturday, August 13, 2022

All-female rowing team breaks world record with 2,400-mile trek from California to Hawaii

After 34 days and more than 2,400 nautical miles, four female rowers made history on Tuesday morning by wrapping up their journey from California to Hawaii in record time. 

Libby Costello, Sophia Denison-Johnston, Brooke Downes and Adrienne Smith — part of team LAT35 — were a little wobbly when getting off the boat but they couldn’t stop smiling as they were greeted by leis and hundreds of cheering fans. They began the Great Pacific Race in San Francisco on June 21 and finished in Honolulu on July 26.

“I feel totally overwhelmed in the best way by love. And I’m also exhausted,” Denison-Johnston said in an interview with Good Morning America.

The women documented their trip on social media, and shared the not-so-glamorous parts of breaking a world record. The full trip took a total of 34 days, 14 hours and 11 minutes, breaking the previous record of 35 days 12 hours and 22 minutes set by Ocean Sheroes in the 2021 Great Pacific Race. To accomplish this, the four women endured seasickness and rough seas while taking turns doing two-hour shifts and only averaging 90 minutes of sleep per day. 

Once in a while, the women jumped in the water to check for barnacles and other growths because that build up could slow them down. Otherwise, their time was fully spent on the boat.

The feat required immense energy, so even though each woman was consuming between 4,000 and 6,000 calories per day, they still lost weight. Most of their food consisted of canned goods, boil-to-order meals and even baby food because it is easily storable. There were a lot of dehydrated meals, but sometimes they treated themselves with fruit. To keep things positive and fun, Denison-Johnston even got her teammates to deliver “Uber Eats” to her during her break.

This was not an easy journey, but the rowers made the best of it and even took time to make fun social media content, including a video about how they are “living life.”

In their interview with GMA, LAT35 said they were glad they got to share their journey on social media because they wanted to inspire others to go after their goals.

“I think something that I want people to take away is that these women are so incredible but we’re not superhuman. There’s nothing that we were born with that makes us any different than anybody else,” Downes told GMA.

While their main goal was to break the women’s world record for the fastest four-rower team, the women also took advantage of their growing popularity and decided to raise money for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

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