Portsmouth seafarer taking on world record challenge in Great Pacific Race

A WORLD record-setting sailor has joined three other women to form a rowing dream team for an endurance challenge.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 11:39 am
Updated Monday, 31st May 2021, 12:02 pm

Mary Sutherland from Portsmouth has teamed up with Lily Lower, Bella Collins and Purusha Gordon are taking on the Great Pacific Race – a gruelling 2,700-mile row from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA, around to Hawaii.

Starting on Monday, May 31, Mary and the other Ocean Sheroes will row in stints of two hours in a bid to beat the world record of 50 days, eight hours and 14 minutes, set in 2014.

Since its launch in 2014, only 22 teams have ever completed the Great Pacific Race. For comparison, more than 4,000 people have climbed Mount Everest and 566 people have been to space.

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The Ocean Sheroes begin their challenge on May 27

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When asked why she signed up, Mary, 41, who holds the record for being part of the first ever all-female crew to row the Atlantic Ocean from west to east, said: ‘I'm more of a “why not?” person.

‘It’s so difficult to be an adventurer these days as the world is becoming so small – naturally along with doing these kind of things comes lifetime memories and friends.’

Purusha added: ‘For me it’s two things; to challenge myself and encourage others to do so and to raise the conversation around living consciously. I really wanted to see if it really was possible for an ordinary person without any experience of rowing or oceans, but with heaps of determination, to take on this challenge, to learn a whole heap of new skills and to see it through.

‘It was about being brave, saying yes and working hard to achieve this goal. To be able to share my story, for others to believe they can those things they have always wanted to, no matter how big or small would be incredible to witness.

‘With two young children, preserving the planet for future generations is something I believe we can all do if we start living consciously, making small changes and encouraging others to do so which collectively has a big impact on our planet.’

Through their epic adventure, the team is hoping to raise £60,000 for the Seabin Project – which clears microplastics, fuel and oil from the world’s oceans.

To track the team’s progress, people can go to oceansheroes.com.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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