Team Antigua Island Girls are to take on the Pacific row Challenge in 2023 and we couldn’t be more ecstatic about this!
Nearly three years ago, on January 28th 2019, Team Antigua Island Girls made a massive accomplishment as well as created history by becoming the first all-female all-black Caribbean to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The team that consists of Christal Clashing, Elvira Bell, Kevinia Francis and Samara Emmanuel announced last Monday that they would be taking to adventures on the seas once again, however, they are to courageously row across the Pacific Ocean this time.
These bold women will be among 20 participating teams in the inaugural Pacific Challenge which starts on June 12, 2023. They have a nice year and a half to get themselves ready for this venture. In fact, they have even started mentally preparing themselves, as this challenge requires immense mental strength as well as physical strength. Teams will be starting from the historic harbour of Monterey in California and row 2,800 nautical miles to the Nawiliwili Bay in Kauai, Hawaii, following the path of many adventurers and explorers many moons ago!
Now, the very interesting thing about this all is the fact that these women had little to no sailing experience, although couldn’t go without signing up for another gruelling row.
“We knew we wanted to do another adventure individually and collectively. We are adventurous but more than that stepping out of our comfort zone and inspiring others especially women and girls have been a great achievement for us and that is something that we want to continue to do,” Francis explained and continued on… “So, we decided on a call to action to combine our adventurous spirit to continue to do good and to inspire others. Last time we were hoping to be a little ahead of where we were; it didn’t happen but 13th out of 28 guests was a big accomplishment, but at heart, we are not just adventurers, we are competitors. So, when Atlantic Campaigns told us about this new Pacific Challenge, we asked why not?”
This quartet is confident that they can break the fastest female record which was set by Ocean Sheroes who completed their row across the Pacific in 35 days, 17 hours and 32 minutes. “Mentally, I think that’s where most of the challenge is. We work together as a team and we are just going to rely on each other’s strengths,” Emmanuel said.
Only 80 people in 31 boats have successfully rowed to one of the Hawaiian Islands from the mainland USA. Within the 31 crews to have completed the voyage, 10 were women, 18 men and just three mixed genders.
Fundraising activities will ramp up shortly as the team will need EC $350,000 to purchase and ship the boat and cover the cost of travel to California. The beautiful thing about this is that what will be raised for the campaign will not only go towards the non-profit organization but also specifically to a project to assist girls in conflict with the law.
We are confident just like these powerful women are confident that they will achieve all of their goals and create a pathway for more girls and women to do so as well!
Official Antigua Island Girl Rowing Website
Antigua Observer Newspaper Article on 2023 adventure with Team Antigua Island Girls
IPDay Article on 2019 journey with Team Antigua Island Girls