4 ordinary women, 1 extraordinary race

Four British women, the Ocean Angels, have become the first all female crew to row across the Indian Ocean and were delighted to spend their first night ashore at the luxury ‘Merville Beach’ resort.

The grueling 3,720-mile test from Australia to Mauritius – the first ever Indian Ocean Rowing Race – took 79 days. The girls have had to be totally self sufficient on their 29ft rowing boat, rowing in pairs for two hours and resting for two hours all day every day. They ate dehydrated rations and made their water using a solar powered de-salinator – dealing with numerous breakages, power problems, flooding, and steering issues.

The Ocean Angels started their epic journey from Geraldton, Western Australia on 19 April 2009 and have been rowing ever since. They’re the only female competitors, in what is heralded, as the world’s toughest rowing race.

They are raising money for Breast Cancer Care, the charity that supports people living with breast cancer.
The foursome is made up of: Fiona Waller, a photographer [and cancer survivor] (34); Sarah Duff a consumer researcher (25), and Elin Haf Davies a nurse (32) who all rowed the Atlantic in 2007, and also first timer Jo Jackson (28) who had never set foot in a rowing boat or been to sea until signing up for this enormous challenge!
The race was won by ‘Bexhill Trust Challenger’ (all male four) on Friday 26 June who took 68 days to complete the race. The Ocean Angels have finished in 2nd place ahead of the only other remaining men’s four.

On finishing the race Fiona Waller, skipper says:-
“I can’t believe we’ve finally made it. To say it’s been tough is an understatement but what an adventure. We have seen the best and the worst of the Indian Ocean. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved both in terms of our world record and also the money we have raised for Breast Cancer Care. I saw my mother, Elisabeth, go through and eventually die from breast cancer in 2000.  I was also diagnosed with cancer just after my 30th birthday so I have seen the impact this disease can have.”
The four girls hope that their supporters will help them raise £50,000 for Breast Cancer Care after their epic voyage. If you want to support the girls donate on their Justgiving website www.justgiving.com/oceanangels .
Also, you can still put ‘your face on the boat’ as the girls are planning a huge wall of faces at the fundraiser celebration they are hosting in October when they get back. Go to www.faceboat.org to donate your ‘mugshot’ and your money!