Guy Fawkes Boat Club member to row across the Atlantic in aid of charities

8:17am Monday 13th January 2014

FOUR full-time working Yorkshire mums-of-two have set themselves the task of rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in the 2015 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The team will be fundraising for Action For Children, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, who are currently planning to build a new centre in Leeds.

The challenge will see the four women, who will have 187 years between them, row from San Sebastian de La Gomera, in the Canary Islands to Antigua.

Jannette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Frances Davies and Niki Doeg, who met when they starting rowing together two years ago at York’s Guy Fawkes Boat Club, made the decision to brave the race last January while at the boat club dinner.

“It was Frances who suggested it over a glass of wine,” said Jannette, 49, a full-time clinical researcher from Burn. “The next morning we all received emails from her confirming that we had all agreed to it.”

Frances, 45 a solicitor from York has previous experience in triathlon and long-distance cycling. The three others admit they have never done anything like the challenge before.

Niki, 42, a business owner from Hessay, said: “As working mums, we’ve all had our fair share of sleep deprivation. Our 20-month training schedule begins on February 5th. We've hired a fitness coach to turn us from zeroes into heroes.”

Helen, 43 and full-time NHS worker from Cawood, went to see the start of this year’s race. She said: “We are already regular rowers, but we need to build up our psychological endurances and hire a dietician.”

The team is searching for a Yorkshire sponsors to mark their boat in order to help them raise £90,000.

The group’s major concerns include 40-foot waves, bottom blisters and shark attacks.


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