Five women have set a new world record after becoming the first ever all-female crew to row the Atlantic Ocean from west to east.

27 July

The rowers on Liberty of Essex have made history by becoming the first all-women crew to row across the Atlantic, west to east.

The team set the record on 26 July at 0549 UTC when they crossed the line at Bishop Rock Lighthouse near the Isles of Scilly.

Read an interview with the crew below

They rowed the 3,000 mile journey in 48 days, 13 hours, 49 minutes and 9 seconds.

Five women set record for rowing the Atlantic west to east Rannock Women's Challenge

The crew take a selfie after setting a new world record.


The crew left New York on 7 June.

Skipper Guin Batten, Molly Brown, Alex Holt, Mary Sutherland and Gilly Mara have now landed at Falmouth, Cornwall.

Molly Brown has also set her own record – at 20-years-old, the oceanographer student is now the youngest woman to have rowed the Atlantic Ocean.


26 July

Five women are about to enter the record books after a 3,000 mile journey rowing across the Atlantic.

First female crew to row the Atlantic east to west

Credit: Guin Batten


The crew of the Liberty of Essex are expected to reach the Bishop Rock Lighthouse near the Isles of Scilly on 26 July.

They are scheduled to arrive at their destination – Falmouth – sometime between 8 and 11am on 27 July.

The women started their journey from New York on 7 June.

On board are 49-year-old Guin Batten, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 20-year-old oceanographer university student Molly Brown, who will become the youngest woman to have rowed the Atlantic.

5 female rowing crew set to break record

Alex Holt audits the crew’s food


Making up the rest of the crew are Alex Holt, a 26-year-old water-ski and snow ski instructor, 34-year-old Gilly Mara, one of the fastest ultra-kayakers in the UK who came into the sport after breaking her neck in a climbing accident, and offshore sailor and racer Mary Sutherland, 36, who has several Fastnet and Atlantic crossings under her belt.

Assisting the crew on-shore is ocean rower Charlie Pitcher.

His company, Rannoch Adventures, built and supplied the rowing boat.

Pitcher was also responsible for placing the advert looking for crew to undertake the challenge.

Women rowers record rowing Atlantic west to east

Molly Brown, who is set to become the youngest woman to cross the Atlantic west-east


He appointed Guin Batten as the skipper. The rest of the crew were selected over “Hell weekend”.

YBW talked to the crew as they neared the end of their world record attempt.

How were you selected to take part in the record attempt?

Final selection for the Rannoch Women’s Challenge crew comprised 26 hours of a mixture of power testing, a six-hour endurance task, an undefined overnight trek, a ‘sleep-where-you-can’, a pre-dawn 30 minute row and a panel interview. This was done all with the aim to ‘see’ the real personalities and team interactions shine through. All the while, Louise Carey (rower and SAS Are You Tough Enough contender) and Polly Gough (rower, sailor and medic) looked on watching every move, and listening to every word.


Did you all get along immediately or did you have to work to become a crew?

It has most definitely been something that the crew have worked on once final selection was made at the beginning of the year. Training and preparation has also included specific team building coaching to help them on their way.

female crew world record attempt rowing atlantic west to east


What sort of training did you do before the challenge?

A big driver was working on the Concept 2 Rowing Machine doing a 2 hour session with 2 hours off and then following that up with 2 hours back on, and looking for improvements in power as the training went on. Apart from diary-ing in set days from December onwards, (including Boxing Day), there were 24 hour ERG sessions and a number of night time 10 hour rows.


How do you cope with being in such a confined space with one another?
We split the rowing into shifts so we were not all in the cabin at any one time. We also had planned and trained for this, so we were ready for the most part. Tiredness and exhaustion also meant we had long periods when we were simply too tired to talk!


Guin Batten part of the all-female rowing crew hoping to set the record rowing west to east across the Atlantic

Skipper Guin Batten


What has been the best/worst moment of the challenge so far?

The best moments have been the spectacular once in a lifetime experiences and spectacular sights – riding the surf was exhilarating, sunsets, dolphins, whales – and the messages we received from people around the world.

Completing a food audit with 10 days to go and discovering we had 20 days of food – extra rations!

The worst moments were (Guin): the last 14 days we’ve had to sleep in wet sleeping bags, we just can’t get them dried.
(Gilly): Being sea sick on the first day and feeling like death.

What will be the first thing that you do when you step on dry land?

Hug family, friends and pet dogs, have a drink and a shower!