All-female crew plan Atlantic row

The Row For Freedom team - from left, Katie Pattison-Hart, Debbie Beadle, Julia Immonen, Kate Richardson and Andrea Quigley. (Helen Leigh not pictured)/Guy Bell

Six rowers are hoping to become the first female crew of six to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

The crew – consisting of Julia Immonen, Andrea Quigley, Debbie Beadle, Helen Leigh, Kate Richardson, and Katie Pattison-Hart – will undertake the Row for Freedom challenge in December this year, and hope to raise £1 million to help victims of human trafficking.

They are also aiming to become to the fastest women’s crew to row across the Atlantic, taking an estimated 35-45 days to row some 3000 miles from the Canary Islands to Barbados.

The women will row 24 hours a day, in shifts of two hours on and two hours off for the duration of the journey.

The Row for Freedom team practice their sculling

Their route mirrors that taken by 19th Century slave traders, which Leigh hopes will help to ‘raise awareness of this horrific issue (human trafficking) which is still prevalent globally but also here on our doorsteps in the UK.’

‘Last
year more than 700 victims were identified in the UK and without proper support and
care,’ added Julia Immonen, founder of Sport Against Trafficking. ‘These victims can again fall prey to traffickers and suffer additional
physical, sexual and mental abuse.’

More information on the challenge, as well as the campaign being supported by the six rowers, can be found on the Row for Freedom website.

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