A 21-year-old swimming teacher from North Yorkshire has become the youngest woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Jasmine Harrison, a part-time teacher and bartender from Thirsk, England, began the journey in December, when she departed from La Gomera in the Canary Islands. It took her 70 days, three hours and 48 minutes to reach Antigua.
Her arrival in the Caribbean was greeted with a fanfare on Facebook, where she was livestreamed crossing the finishing line. The triumphant 21-year-old stood in her rowing boat and lit her flares as she came into the bay.
Arriving on the island, Harrison said the experience had been “everything [she] wanted it to be.”
Asked what she was most looking forward to, the 21-year-old said: “Food, definitely food.”
She said the 4,828km journey has been made of “good and bad memories,” but explained that she had appreciated being able to escape from normal life.
“There’s nothing like it, actually getting away from everything — social media, bad news, from literally everything,” she said.
The rower faced several challenges on her journey. Her boat capsized early this month and again two days ago, injuring her elbow.
Harrison said she would row for two hours and sleep for two hours on rotation during the crossing.
She was inspired to sign up for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge when she visited Antigua after completing her A-level exams.
She began training for the competition in January last year in Hartlepool, England, according to a report in the Northern Echo.
Her record-breaking feat has raised more than ￡10,000 (US$14,016) for charity, with the money going to the Blue Marine Foundation, which aims to fight overfishing, and ShelterBox, an organization providing relief to people affected by natural disasters.
“I want to inspire young people to get out there and do something, whether that be changing the world or just doing something outside your comfort zone,” Harrison wrote in a statement on her Web site.
Until now, the youngest female rower to traverse the Atlantic was 22-year-old Katie Spotz from the USA, who made the journey from Jan. 3, 2010, to March 14, 2010.
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