The Coxless Crew, a team of all-female British rowers, has arrived in Australia after spending 257 days rowing more than 9,200 miles across the Pacific Ocean.
Crowds gathered to welcome four of the rowers — Laura Penhaul, Natalia Cohen, Emma Mitchell and Meg Dyos — as they stepped onto solid ground at Marlin Marina in Cairns on Monday, according to The Guardian. The impressive women set not one, but two records, becoming the first all-female team and the first team of four to row the Pacific. SEE VIDEO:
The Coxless Crew
The Coxless Crew is made up of six women, all of whom who are single and took time out from jobs to row the Pacific:
- Laura Penhaul, 32, originally from Cornwall but now living and working in London, is the founder and leader of the Coxless Crew. The lead physiotherapist for British Paralympics Athletics, she is a keen marathon runner, cyclist and triathlete.
- Natalia Cohen, 40, based in London. An adventure tour leader and manager, she has lived and worked in more than 50 countries in the last 15 years and has completed the Inca Trail in Peru 10 times. She has already crossed a section of the Pacific as part of a crew in a small yacht, monitoring plastic pollution.
- Meg Dyos, 25, an English graduate who works as an estate agent in London, joined the Coxless Crew for the third leg, from Samoa to Cairns in Australia. She has run the London Marathon, the Great North Run and led an expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
- Emma Mitchell, 30, from Marlow in Buckinghamshire. An expedition manager, she has rowed for England and is an ex-Cambridge Blue who competed in the Boat Race. She has a PhD, has undertaken expedition-leading courses in the jungles of Belize and has taken part in the Mont Blanc and Berlin marathons.
- Lizanne van Vuuren, 27, a South African osteopath who grew up in Newbury, was part of the crew for the second leg, from Hawaii to Samoa. She is a keen swimmer and runner who has completed a half ironman triathlon and also plays guitar.
- Isabel Burnham, 31, a solicitor from Saffron Walden near Cambridge who joined the Coxless Crew for the first leg, from San Francisco to Hawaii. A keen mountaineer, trekker and ultramarathon runner, she took part in a continuous running relay from London to Rome and also rowed for Cambridge University.
The women began their journey in San Francisco in April last year, setting sail in 29-foot pink boat named Doris. The journey, which was split into three legs, was completed in its entirety by three of the crew: Penhaul, 31; Cohen, 40, both from London; and Mitchell, 30, from Buckinghamshire.
Isabel Burnham, 31, from outside Cambridge, completed the first leg. Lizanne van Vuuren, 27, a South African who grew up in Newbury, took over the second stage. And Meg Dyos, from London, completed the final section.
During the final days of their journey, the team tackled the Great Barrier Reef and faced dwindling supplies.
“It has been an exhausting and emotional few days as we make our approach to land. It’s fair to say that with physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and a lack of savoury food, we are being tested to our limits,” a blog post from the crew published on Sunday read. “However, this is where we draw on our spirit, row hard, row strong, row together.”