Sleep deprivation, blisters and salt sores are to test the endurance of an Ealing athlete who is to row 3,000 across the Atlantic to raise money for charity.
In December this year, Ealing athlete Kate Hallam, 32, and three other young women will be taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge - the world’s toughest ocean endurance race.
Her team will row 3,000 nautical miles from La Gomera in the Canaries, to Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua, as team Atlantic Endeavour.
United by a passion for adventure and surviving in extreme conditions, they aim to be the first womens’ four to cross the finish line in English Harbour in early 2016.
More people have climbed Everest or been into space than have successfully rowed the Atlantic, but the race now takes place every two years, with around 30 teams from around the world participating.
One of Ealing’s most adventurous women, Ms Hallam has reached the summit of Mont Blanc and Kilimajaro, dived with sharks, ice-climbed in Kyrgyzstan, trekked the Inca Trail, camped in the Borneo jungle and mountaineered in Iraq.
She will be joined by Charlotte Best, 29, from Warwickshire, Becky Charlton, 27, from Guernsey, and Sarah Hornby, 29, from Dorset.
Ms Hallam, who currently works in International Development, and learnt to row at university, said: “It’s been 10 years since I rowed competitively and my sea legs have certainly never been tested on this scale.
"Although a keen mountaineer and marathon runner, crossing the Atlantic would both mentally and physically go beyond anything I’ve ever undertaken before and I’m keen to meet it head on.
"As an issue close to my heart, I’m proud to be doing this race in aid of Mind to both highlight and further the important work they are doing.
"We aim to break two ocean rowing world records, whilst raising awareness and funding for our chosen charities, MIND and Women for Women International.
"I know it’s going to be tough. We are going to face sleep deprivation, 30ft waves, blisters, salt sores and the physical extremes that the row inflicts from rowing in shifts around the clock for weeks on end, facing all the raw elements of the Atlantic Ocean. But I believe it will be worth it to raise as much money as possible for these fantastic charities so, please support us.”
In 1966 Sir Chay Blyth and John Ridgeway became the first men to row the Atlantic. During their 92-day passage they faced hurricanes, 50ft waves and a near starvation diet. This trip laid the foundation for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Ms Hallam, who grew up in Ealing and went to St Gregory’s Primary and Chiswick's Gumley House Convent School, and her team mates are appealing for further sponsorship for their challenge both from businesses and individuals in and around Ealing and West London.
To find out more, go to www.atlanticendeavour.com.