Coxless Crew bid to row the Pacific

ROW YOUR BOATS Pictured from left are rowers Laura Penhaul, 31, Isabel Burnham, 30, Natalia Cohen, 40 and Emma Mitchell, 29 ''Picture: Dean Alexander/PA Wire
ROW YOUR BOATS Pictured from left are rowers Laura Penhaul, 31, Isabel Burnham, 30, Natalia Cohen, 40 and Emma Mitchell, 29 ''Picture: Dean Alexander/PA Wire

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A group of adventurers are setting off on one of the most challenging expeditions on the planet – rowing across the Pacific Ocean.

The women, dubbed the Coxless Crew, are heading out from the west coast of America for a journey of 8,446 miles across the world’s largest expanse of open water.

Their daring challenge is expected to take around six months, during which they will set foot on land just twice as they travel the equivalent of more than a third of the distance around the world.

One of those manning the oars will be Emma Mitchell, 29, an expedition team leader from Portsmouth.

All being well, the intrepid group will stop off for around five days in Hawaii and Samoa before they come ashore for the final time at Cairns on the north east coast of Australia.

Natalia Cohen, 40, another of those taking part, said: ‘It is going to be pretty boring a lot of the time, so we will have to find ways to keep occupied and in the moment so your mind doesn’t start spiralling into areas you don’t want it to be.

‘We have got iPods and a couple of the girls have got a Kindle so there will be a bit of variety.

‘We will have to break each shift down to what we want to do – chatting, listening to music or an audio book.

‘Emma wants to learn Spanish, so I will be testing her.’

During their voyage they are likely to contend with ocean storms, changing currents, a glaring sun that will send temperatures soaring to more than 40C (104F) and possibly the company of an odd whale or two.

And the only thing to shelter them from treacherous seas is a small pink boat, less than 30ft long.

Barring any mishaps they will become the first all-female team to row this route across the Pacific, the first team of four and will set the record for the fastest Pacific row.

They also hope to raise around £250,000 for two charities, Walking With The Wounded and Breast Cancer Care.