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Mums Head To Canaries For Atlantic Rowing Race

Four Jersey mums are on their way to La Gomera in the Canary Islands as they prepare to take on the challenge of rowing the Atlantic.

Alison Smithurst, Rosemary Satchwell, Helene Monpetit and Julie Brady - dubbed team Intrepid232 - are hoping to become the oldest female fours to row any ocean.

The foursome have a combined age of 232, far above current title-holders Yorkshire Rowers, who had a combined age of 188 when they won the World Record in 2016.

Alison, Rosemary and Julie spoke to Channel 103 in the days before they set off.

Alison and Rosemary told us what they were most nervous about.

"It's the thought of huge waves, the boat coming down and then going off somewhere else that we don't have control over.

That is impossible to train for because you don't get those conditions here.  Even if we had, we wouldn't have been allowed to go out in train in them because it is not safe.  There are too many hazards around Jersey."

The group will have around two weeks in the Spanish Island before the 3,000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge begins on 12 December.

They say that they will use that time to make sure they have everything they need for the 50 day adventure to the Caribbean.

"Atlantic campaigns have an extensive mandatory equipment list.  A lot of that is already on the boat which has already gone out to La Gomera, but there is still an awful lot for us to take.

In terms of personal kit, there is not a lot - three t-shirts, three pairs of shorts and six pairs of socks!"

Two Jersey men, Steve Hayes and Peter Wright, finished the challenge in February after 54 days, 16 hours and 45 minutes at sea.

Rosemary says they've been in contact with them quite a bit.

"They have always been there to give us tips and guidance. 

Some of the advice was invaluable, but we know that no two races are the same."

However, the idea to take part came way before Steve and Peter's feat.

The Intrepid ladies told us what made them decide to do it.

"There wasn't a massive amount of discussion.   It was 'what about rowing the Atlantic?' 

'Oh, ok, we'll do that. What could possibly go wrong?'

If we don't do it now, we'll never do it."

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