View all news

Row the distance

25 September 2009

A Bristol graduate is attempting to sail into the record books by racing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in under 75 days to set a new British record - and all with a novel twist; she and her rowing partner hope to be only the seventh female pair to row the distance.

A Bristol graduate is attempting to sail into the record books by racing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in under 75 days to set a new British record - and all with a novel twist; she and her rowing partner hope to be only the seventh female pair to row the distance.

Melanie King (BA 1990), who started her rowing career while studying at Bristol, and fellow Bristol-based rower Annie Januszewski, will begin their challenge on 6 December, from the Canary Islands, and finish at English Harbour, Antigua.

The pair will be taking turns to row for two hour slots with one person rowing at all times, on one two-man boat, with highly cramped living conditions and no toilet. They will be faced with the possibility of 35 foot waves, agonizing blisters, sleep deprivation, and even sharks while attempting to smash the current record. Storms and strong head winds could compromise their chances, giving them no choice but to batten down the hatches and sit them out. Melanie, however, believes it's all worth it: 'It's only when you really push yourself you realise what you’re capable of. The sense of achievement when we reach Antigua will be like nothing else.'

Once they've covered their costs, all sponsorship proceeds from Melanie and Annie’s attempt will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.