We are 4 women from around the world. Together, we are rowing across the Pacific from California to Hawaii to motivate environmental political action. While crossing the Pacific will be a monumental challenge, the challenges facing our planet are even greater. Each of us is working in our local communities to tackle issues threatening our planet and future. Together, we hope to have a global impact. We’re also aiming to break a world record in the process by completing the row in under 50 days. We need your support to get to the start line. Will you join us in making a difference?
The story so far...
After 3 weeks of training and race preparation, the Ripple Effect crew joined the start line with the other 4 crews of the Great Pacific Race to set off on the journey of a lifetime.
Rowing up to the marker which signified the start of the GPR2018, the crew was in good spirits; excited, joking, blasting out Eye of the Tiger on repeat. They were ready.
The race started and they rowed 3-up, so three crew rowing at any time. That meant 3 hours rowing, 1 hour to eat, sleep, rest, and then repeat.
Harsh winds caused the girls to make little progress so they took the decision to drop down to their pairs. Continuing to battle into the wind and waves they rowed 2 hours on, 2 hours off for the next couple of days, delighting in the additional hour of sleep.
The conditions worsened as expected; a storm was coming through. The girls were hesitant to stop rowing but the 4th time of almost losing someone overboard was enough to call it. The waves crashing on top of the boat swamped the deck and pushed them into the gunnels… and there was no sight of letting up for the next couple of days. It was a difficult decision to make but as a crew they thought of the people back home and that staying safe was the top priority, so going on para-anchor was necessary. After all, the race isn’t just about the crew, it’s about the family, support team and sponsors too.
The waves continued to pummel the boat for a couple more days so the crew stayed cooped up in the cabins for the best part of 48 hours.
Eventually the conditions lessened enough to allow the crew to continue. They took to the oars with relief at getting the boat moving again and stop drifting south. Still they needed to row a more southerly direction than planned to keep in line with the waves, but managed to get some great speeds which added to the excitement of being on the move.
After the first switch-over for the night shift that evening, disaster stuck. Anna had collapsed on the oars, struggling from not being able to eat and drink enough on board. She was disorientated and cold.
Mariana and Eliza moved Anna into the cabin whilst Emma radio’d for help – alas, not many ships on the Pacific! They quickly had the doctor on the satellite phone who monitored Anna every hour for the whole night, Eliza staying by her side to give vitals and help keep the heat in.
In the morning Anna took the difficult decision to quit the race. Given the size of the boat and impending storm, it was deemed too dangerous to continue as a three so the crew was forced to quit altogether. A heartbreaking decision.
The GPR rescue boat collected the crew and sailed them down to Santa Barbara, rowing boat in tow, where they safely made it to land and for a well-deserved (and much needed!) shower.
It has been a difficult time for the girls to recover from withdrawing from the race. The amount of time, energy and effort that went into preparing for the race was significant.
Eliza has taken some time out to travel before starting her PhD at Stanford in the Fall. She would love to row the race again but is focussing on her studies for the next 6 years.
Emma is returning to work at EY whilst starting up her plastic-free shop (Pipbrook) and the schools programme which commences in September 2018. She has already organised a crew to take on the Pacific again in 2020.
Anna has made a full recovery, but has asked not to be included in Ripple Effect communications going forward.
Mariana has returned to work as a personal trainer in London and will be recording videos to help future crews train for the race.
The crew would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to their sponsors, particularly to Love Crunch for their inspiring video of the race (available soon), EY for their unwavering support and Endurance x Nature for their support, advice and fueling the crew during training and the row.
To all of our sponsors, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.
To our families and friends, thank you for your support and we hope we did you proud.
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Why row an ocean?
Our planet is changing, it’s time to change too.
Global temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, toxic chemicals have been found in our food chain, and vital species in the rainforests are being decimated. Our future is uncertain.
We need to act now.
Our crew is committed to rowing 2,400 miles to catalyze action on these issues. By each representing one element and promoting one policy change in our local area, we are demonstrating the ability of individuals to affect change; it’s not too late, and small actions add up to big results.
Your sponsorship along with our journey, is bringing a much-needed narrative to causes which cannot speak up. Together we can achieve a healthier future.
Global temperature are increasing, ice sheets are shrinking, sea levels are rising, extreme weather events are becoming more likely.
For the first time in Earth’s history, the climate is changing due to anthropogenic (human caused) forcing. We are consuming more than ever, producing more than ever, and polluting more than ever. Much of this waste is being pumped into our atmosphere.
We are rowing to take a stand; by supporting a Washington State carbon tax proposal (if passed, the first carbon tax in the USA!) we hope to help reduce the CO2 entering our atmosphere.
Together, we can make a difference. By supporting our journey you will also be supporting tangible policy action to combat climate change.
Our use of plastic is prolific, with 8 million tonnes entering the oceans every year. Blue Planet brought to life the devastating impact plastic pollution has on marine life and now plastic has been proven to have entered our diet. A recent study found that 72% of British tap water contains plastic; and that was the lowest level of contamination found globally.
We are raising funds for Surfers Against Sewage and Sustainable Merton to make Wimbledon one of the first plastic-free communities in the UK, leading the way in the fight against plastic.
As the richest botanical resource in the world, the Amazon rainforest is home to around 5 million species of healing plants, with more still being discovered!
The rare plants who call the Amazon ‘home’ can work marvels for our health. From relieving anxiety to boosting white blood cells, the plants of the amazon are integral to curing the diseases we have caused through our modern way of life.
Unfortunately, profit is put higher than long-term health benefits. 20,000 square miles are being felled every year to make space for farms and cattle ranches to capitalise on the growing demand for cheap meat.
We are losing entire species of medicinal plants and pumping extra CO2 into the atmosphere in the process, compounding the impact on human health.
Do you go on walks to clear your head? Connecting with nature helps us relax and refocus which helps our brains spark.
There are people who don’t have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. That’s why we’re raising funds for Ascend Afghanistan and the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC). Acend Afghanistan helps Afghan women explore the vast mountainous regions of their country despite social norms that make this difficult. DNRC is a rehabilitation center that helps veterans recover from trauma and injuries.
Giving people opportunities to explore the outdoors not only helps with overcoming hardships, but also kindles an appreciation for the environment and a passion to preserve it. We are helping people learn about the outdoors and appreciate how special our planet is.
Anna joined the Army as a Royal Engineer in 2002 and served in a variety of combat and training roles before using her skills as a leadership consultant.
No stranger to adventure, Anna crewed a sailing boat 4,000 miles from South Africa to Senegal and completed the Marathon des Sables footrace in the Sahara Desert.
Mariana competed on the Brazilian National Team and was the best in her country at single sculls 5 times.
A debilitating illness prevented her from competing in the Olympics, but Mariana self-healed over 12 years and is now an accomplished Personal Trainer with clients worldwide.
Chartered Accountant, co-founder of the EY Sustainability Team for UK and Ireland and a leading force in the #PlasticFreeWimbledon campaign.
Her determination achieved her a place on the Oxford MBA for 2017-18, but Emma declined her place to compete in the Great Pacific Race.
Eliza is studying Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in climate science after rowing the Pacific.
She wants to be both a scientist and an advocate of climate change action.
Great Pacific Race
In June 2018, we will set off from Monterey, California for a self-sufficient row as a contestant in the Great Pacific Race. The current world record stands at just over 50 days, which we aim to beat.
Achieving this will be an ultimate test of our endurance, rowing in 2 hour shifts all day and all night until we arrive in Hawaii. We will be prepared to be on the ocean for over a month without escape from the boat, save for a few quick hull cleans!
Along the way, we will have an amazing opportunity. Being out for so long will allow us a glimpse of parts of our planet that few people will ever see; amazing sea life, sunsets and vast night skies. But we will also see pollution. To get to Hawaii we must cross through the Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast gyre of churning plastic, reminding us of the far-reaching impacts humanity has on the Earth. Through pictures and videos, we hope to share sites and experience along the voyage.
Make sure to