Harrogate WI inspired by heroic Yorkshire mums who rowed Atlantic

Yorkshire Rows - Janette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies.
Yorkshire Rows - Janette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies.

A group of incredibly brave mums who made international news by rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic made a big impression as guests of a Harrogate WI.

Two of the Yorkshire Rows team who became Guinness World Record holders as the oldest all-female crew to row across any ocean visited Harrogate last week to give a talk to the popular Spa Sweethearts Women’s Institute.

It proved to be a memorable evening for the member of the Spa Sweethearts who described the talk as "funny, heartfelt and inspiring," though they were surprised by just how gruelling and dangerous the mums' epic journey had been.

During the 68-day journey, the mums faced a hurricane, power failures, seasickness and the occasional physical injury in constantly rough seas.

Based in York, the team consisted of Janette Benaddi, 51, from Burn in North Yorkshire, Frances Davies, 47, Niki Doeg, 44, and Helen Butters, 45.

None of the four working mums had rowed for more than a couple of years before they set off in December 2015 in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to the finishing point in Antigua.

Such is the fame of the Yorkshire Rows, the story of their epic challenge was turned into a book last year entitled Four Mums in a Boat.

The film and television rights to the book have now been optioned by Archery Pictures.

The four mums' amazing efforts raised funds for the Maggies Cancer Caring Centre and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.