Record-breakers: North Yorkshire woman makes history as part of fastest female trio to cross Atlantic
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Skipper Bobbie Mellor, 34, a former Ripon Grammar student, and her crew Hatty Carder, and Katherine Antrobus, were up against professional rowers and came 10th overall in the World’s Toughest Row.
The Wavebreakers set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, Spain, on December 13, and finished in the Caribbean island of Antigua on January 22, completing one of the world's toughest races in just 40 days, 10 hours, and 51 minutes.
Despite capsizing early on, and enduring tumultuous weather with waves up to ten feet high, they rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic becoming the fastest ever female trio to make the journey.
Videos and images on social media of the trio at the finish line were an inspiration to thousands, as the last of the crew's energy was used in an emotional celebration.
Bobbie, who recently described herself as ‘unsporty’, said: “It’s been wild!
“We had a shaky start but then some magic happened.”
Documenting the Wavebreakers’ on the World Toughest Row, their social media team described the crew's extraordinary resilience as they overcame the elements leaving them ‘battered and bruised’.
Her mother Bridget Mellor, speaking from her home in Burton Leonard, said: "The girls made us proud, showing great resilience, courage and teamwork.
“I found their arrival very emotional and was so relieved they made it. I always knew Bobbie would be a great skipper, she's so positive, cheerful and calm."
Looking forward to welcoming her daughter home for a celebration party, she said: "It's an inspiration to other girls to know anything is possible."
Ripon Grammar School director of sport Adam Milner described Bobbie and her crew as an inspiration to students:
Mr Milner said: “I know Bobbie, who took up rowing for the first time during lockdown, has joked that her old PE teachers would be shocked at what she's doing now, since she was never sporty at school.
"Bobbie reminds us all that it's never too late to try something new.”
The trio has raised £84,000 for the WWF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees climate change charities, with their employers, telecommunications company Vodafone, offering to double donations up to the team’s target of £140,000.
In addition to stormy weather, they coped with seasickness, and sleepless nights, as they battled on to become the fastest female trio.
On Instagram, the WaveBreakers team posted: “Transferring from the extremely harsh environment of an ocean rowing boat on the Atlantic to suddenly failing into the arms of loved ones, was unimaginably beautiful.”
The crew were then quickly escorted to enjoy their first proper meal on land which they described as ‘absolutely glorious!’.
The instagram post said: “It's such a powerful expedition to follow.
“If you can read this through all the tears streaming down your face, what we just witnessed is quite simply, mind blowing!”
For more information about the fundraiser visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/wavebreakers2023