Interview: the awesome girls of Boatylicious

I had a nice chat with Laura of Team Boatylicious. In June 2014, she and three other super-adventurous ladies are aiming to set a new world record, rowing 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. The best bit? You could join them.


Fancy a little break from the rat race? So did Laura and Emily. So they’ve booked themselves a nice sunshiny holiday in Hawaii. The only slight drawback is that they have to row for a month across 2,400 miles to get there.

The girls are half of Boatylicious, a four woman team competing in the first ever Pacific Rowing Race taking place across next summer. The team are hoping to break a world record for being the fastest all-female team of four to row the Mid-Pacific route and are aiming to raise £40,000 for Merlin, a medical humanitarian charity, and the international children’s charity, Hope and Homes for Children.

Currently undergoing an intensive 12 month training programme to prepare them for the sheer physical and mental demands they will face, the team will be completely self-sufficient, carrying all of their equipment and food for the journey as they navigate the route. This superhuman ladies will be sticking to a rigorous rowing schedule of 2 hours on, 2 hours off for 24 hours a day in order to complete the race within their 40 day target.

I caught up with Laura to find out about eight-hour rowing sessions, braving up to storms and growing sprouts in the middle of the sea…


How did you come up with the plan for the row?

Emily and I both heard about the race via different sources and got put in touch with each other via the race organiser, Chris Martin. We started talking in February, we’d paid our race deposit by March and apparently we still haven’t come to our senses!

How does it feel to break away from the 9-5 and plan an adventure like this?

I think because of all the planning involved, it’s easy to actually lose sight of how spectacular this trip will be. The day-to-day reality of getting this project off the ground is actually really not very glamorous and sometimes disheartening, mostly featuring unrelenting emails! However, when we stop and remember exactly why we were so inspired to take on this challenge – it’s great. It will, without doubt, be something that changes our lives and it’s incredibly exciting to be part of something so magical.

So when are you off to California to get ready?

We’ll be heading out two weeks before the scheduled start date, which is June 7th 2014. There’ll be last minute checks of our equipment and we’ll be making sure that the boat is fully stocked and prepped to go. We’ll also be in an eating frenzy to stock up on fat reserves – during the trip we’ll be burning at least 5000 calories a day so it’s important to have a little extra to spare before we go!

What food will you be eating during the race?

We’ll aim to have as much fresh food for as long as we can, but with no cooling system on the boat this has a bit of a time limit. We’ll mainly be relying on freeze dried, army style ration packs that we’ll need to rehydrate with hot water. Thankfully, chocolate will last well so we’ll be bringing plenty of that. We have high hopes of also catching fish and growing sprouts on board, but I suspect we won’t be broadcasting at sea cookery program anytime soon!

What happens if a big storm hits?

At all times we absolutely have to be attached to our life line, if not in the cabin, as should the boat be capsized by a particularly monstrous wave, it is designed to re-right itself – there’s a ballast of spare water underneath that plays a part in this and we also have to make sure all cabin doors are shut. On a more emotional note, I expect there’ll be a few screams!

How is your physical training going?

It’s tough, but good! We’ve been focusing on getting a base layer of strength and stability before we hit the endurance rows. It’ll ramp up soon; weekends will be full of eight hour rowing sessions and as soon as our boat is ready we’ll be on the water as much as possible.

Why did you choose to raise money for Merlin and Hopes for Homes?

We both agreed it was vital for us to support causes that we feel really passionately for. This row will be incredibly tough and at times, we’ll be pushed to our absolute limit. The incredible work that both of these charities do is the extra push we need to motivate ourselves through the struggle.

How will you be communicating with friends and fans during the row?

We have a satellite phone that will enable us to keep in touch and update our blogs. We’re taking some language tapes with us, so hopefully by the time we arrive in Hawaii we’ll be able to communicate in more than one language!

And finally, who came up with your genius name?

Credit for this goes to Emily’s boyfriend (and our Web designer / logo genius!), Tim. I think at one point we were considering Four Oarswomen of the Apocalypse, but Team Boatylicious is much shorter and it instantly made us laugh.

Laura and Emily need two more girls to join their adventure. Fancy stepping up to the challenge, raining tons for charity and getting some sea salt in your lungs? Find out more about what’s involved and email, or find them on Facebook.


1 Comment

  1. October 10, 2013 / 7:26 pm

    Great cause! Great challenge! Great name! Magnificent stuff ladies. All the very best – you’re an inspiration to you readers! I will let others know about this in the UK.

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