Splashing! Women smash world record

August 29 2014

CONTENDING with strong winds, broken oars, a fire and a hurricane threat, four women - including Redland resident, Ingrid Kvale - have smashed a world record, rowing from California to Hawaii.

CONTENDING with strong winds, broken oars, a fire and a hurricane threat, four women - including Redland resident, Ingrid Kvale - have smashed a world record, rowing from California to Hawaii.
It took 'Team Boatylicious' 50 days, eight hours and 14 minutes to complete the 2,400-mile journey, landing them a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first and fastest all-female four to row the Pacific.
Ingrid, alongside Amanda Challans, also from Bristol, Emily Blagden and Aoife Ni Mhaoileoin raised almost £10,000 for WaterAid, Hope and Homes for Children, and the Ahoy Centre.
Team Boatylicious was one of six crews to complete the race, which is described by organisers as the "biggest, baddest human endurance challenge on the planet".
According to Ingrid, the hardest part of the race was getting off the coast of California. Within the first few days, three oars were broken and one was lost due to wild seas and strong winds.
At the start of the race, they were also held-up for eight days as their boat got stuck in Panama.
Whilst at sea, their bilge pump broke, the jet boiler caught fire, and the rudder needed regular fixing.
Their stereo system also stopped working, so Team Boatylicious resorted to singing out loud to boost morale, with their supporters sending them song lyrics to learn by heart.
The women were rowing a gruelling two hours on, two hours off each day. Ingrid Kvale at finish line
Ingrid, 44, said: "For me sleep deprivation was the toughest part. I probably only got about four hours sleep each night. I actually hallucinated a few times and thought I saw other rowing boats that weren't actually there.
"We also blisters on our hands and sores on our bottoms from 12 hours of rowing a day. Ocean rowing is great but definitely not glamorous. My hair ended up looking like a matted birds nest. It took my sister four hours to comb out when I got to Waikiki."
Privacy was also scarce, with a bucket for a loo, and a cabin the size of a one-man tent.
She added: "We felt very alone in the middle of the Pacific. There were no boats, no planes and if we had had a problem it would have taken days for the race support boat to assist us.
"But it was emails and texts from our friends, families and supporters that we received via our satellite phone that kept us going." 
Although the women did not get to see as much wildlife as hoped, they caught sight of sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, turtles as well as other species of fish - including wahoo and mahimahi - along the way. They also befriended a black and blue striped fish called Stanley, who joined them for 1,000 miles, and fed off their leftover food.
"I half expected to see a shark come along, but luckily we didn't," said Ingrid, a wildlife film producer. "Whenever it was my turn to go into the water and scrape the barnacles off the boat, I always had a good look around for sharks. I've made a documentary about the science behind shark attacks, so I have a healthy respect for them."
A few hundred miles away from their finishing destination, Hawaii, Team Boatylicious was informed that hurricane Iselle was on its way. Luckily, their hard rowing paid off and they made it to the finish line just in time.
Ingrid said: "When we completed the crossing, it was hard to believe - it felt like a dream. It was so great to see land and people again and it was lovely that we all had family and friends to come and cheer us in.
"When we stepped on to the Waikiki yacht club pontoon, several garlands were put around my neck, and I was given a pineapple as a trophy and a bottle of champagne to spray over my crew mates. It was a very happy day indeed."
Ingrid added: "The experience has made me appreciate the good things in life. I also feel that after having survived the row, I ought to be able to handle other extreme challenges thrown at me in the future."