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Female trio hoping to smash two world records in Atlantic crossing

PUBLISHED: 11:30 16 March 2020

Three friends, two records, one ocean - Florence Ward (R), Georgie Leech (Centre) and Hannah Walton (L ) are hoping to smash two world records in their Atlantic crossing. Picture: FIONA WARD

Three friends, two records, one ocean - Florence Ward (R), Georgie Leech (Centre) and Hannah Walton (L ) are hoping to smash two world records in their Atlantic crossing. Picture: FIONA WARD

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Three friends, two records, one ocean – that’s the motto for three young women attempting to smash two world records by rowing across the Atlantic.

Florence Ward now lives in London but grew up in Sible Hedingham near Sudbury. Picture: FIONA WARDFlorence Ward now lives in London but grew up in Sible Hedingham near Sudbury. Picture: FIONA WARD

Florence Ward, 26, originally from the Sudbury area, is hoping to break records alongside Hannah Walton, 26, and Georgie Leech, 23, in December this year in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge 2020.

Rowing 3,000 miles from La Gomera, the second smallest of the main islands in Spain's Canary Island chain, to Antigua in the West Indies, the trio will be the youngest team to ever attempt the crossing and hope to be the fastest, too.

Founded in 1997 and with up to 30 teams participating from around the globe, the race is considered to be the world's toughest row.

Supporting charities Women in Sport and Rowing Together for Healthy Minds. the girls are aiming to raise in the region of £20,000.

Florence Ward (L), Hannah Walton and Georgie Leech are embarking on the Florence Ward (L), Hannah Walton and Georgie Leech are embarking on the "world's toughest row" in December. Picture: FIONA WARD

Ms Ward, a data analyst from London, grew up in Sible Hedingham in Suffolk and began rowing when she attended universities in Bristol and Bath.

She said: 'It's an insane race. I thought I could never do it but we started talking about it and after many discussions, decided to go for it.

'I've never done anything like this before, it's quite a challenge. More people have climbed Mount Everest than crossed the Atlantic Ocean.'

The three young women are only the fourth female trio to ever attempt the challenge. Picture: FIONA WARD/HANNAH WALTONThe three young women are only the fourth female trio to ever attempt the challenge. Picture: FIONA WARD/HANNAH WALTON

The trio will be rowing continuously for 24 hours a day in a two-hour on and two-hour off shift pattern enabling sleep and rest and are hoping to navigate the ocean in under 45 days, breaking the current world record of 49 days.

They are currently training five to six times a week in preparation although Ms Ward said: 'It's a hard thing to prepare for, there are loads of different methods in training and we have enlisted personal trainer Gus Barton, who has rowed across the Atlantic before, to help us.'

Rannoch Enterprise Ltd based in Burnham on Crouch will start constructing the R45 Elite boat in April in preparation for the epic trip in December.

The three young women are only the fourth female trio to ever attempt the challenge and hope to raise sponsorship and donations for their cause.

Florence Ward and Hannah Walton on the water in a Rannoch rower. Picture: F. WARD/H. WALTONFlorence Ward and Hannah Walton on the water in a Rannoch rower. Picture: F. WARD/H. WALTON

Find our more about the team's challenge and the race.

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