Two professional businesswomen from Gloucestershire and Hampshire, are rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic this Christmas to raise £100,000 for Women’s Aid and Shelter charities.
Jessica Oliver from Dowdeswell, Cheltenham, and a Salesforce consultant for BrightGen, and her friend Charlotte Harris, from Hampshire, a Global marketing procurement specialist at Diageo, will be one of the first women rowing pairs since 2012 to take part in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
Described as the world’s toughest row challenge, the friends who met at Cardiff University ten years ago through a shared passion for sport, have had no previous Ocean or rowing experience. They will row in their boat ‘Cosimo’ for 2 hrs on, 2 hrs off continuously for up to 60 days, making 1.5 million row strokes and battling sleep deprivation, sea sickness, blisters, 30ft waves, raging storms, whales, sharks and blue marlin attacks.
Known as Team ‘Wild Waves,’ the pair will start the race on 12th December racing 35 teams from around the world, travelling west from the Canary Islands to Antigua and finally, Barbuda.
Recognised as the premier event in Ocean rowing, both will be pushed to their absolute limits of their mental and physical wellbeing, and will need to consume 4000 calories a day and drink at least 10 litres of water a day.
“Our friendship has always been dotted with incredible challenges, said Jessica. “Marathons, triathlons and more recently an unbelievable ‘Fight Night’ with the White-Collar Fight Club. Collectively we’ve raised over £8,000 for Charity, which is a drop in the ocean, excuse the pun, when compared to our goal for this campaign.”
“We both have very strong personalities with gritty determination so we wanted our next challenge to be the biggest and best yet,” continued Charlotte. “We wanted something that would be the most rewarding and lifechanging experience we can undertake. The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge is certainly that and with no ocean or rowing experience it will certainly be our hardest test yet, and we’d like to thank all our sponsors including GE Healthcare, my pension expert and NMS Infrastructure Ltd.
“If we can survive all those days together in a boat, well then, we know we’ll be friends for life,” added Jessica.
But the fundraising and hard work doesn’t end after the race. On 13 May next year Wild Waves will also be hosting a major Charity Ball in London to continue to raise money for Women’s Aid and Shelter charities.
To make a donation or to find out more about the Charity Ball, visit www.teamwildwaves.com.