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Thursday 12 November 2015 | Published in Regional


APIA – Four British women, who are on a world record breaking mission to row across the Pacific, left Samoa this week on the last leg of their epic trip, heading to Cairns in northern Queensland.

Meg Dyos, Laura Penhaul, Emma Mitchell and Natalia Cohen started out from San Francisco in April, rowing down through the Hawaiian Islands to Samoa and now their destination is Australia.

Known as the ‘Coxless Crew’, the journey from Honolulu to Apia took 95 days, after 65 days at sea out of California.

The leg to Cairns is expected to take between 60 to 65 days.

The women are attempting to be the first female fours team to row unsupported across the Pacific Ocean from America to Australia.

Throughout the 13,600 kilometre journey, the women will spend two hours on the oars and two hours off – for six months solid.

The foursome are rowing the Pacific in a 8.8-metre long, and 2-1-metre wide pink boat called Doris.

The boat is set up with two rowing positions. Two girls are always on the oars whilst the other two rest, sleep and eat.

The aim is to raise 250,000 British pounds and awareness for their two charities – ‘Walking with the Wounded’ and ‘Breast Cancer Care’.

“Whether a wounded servicewoman or a survivor of breast cancer, both charities primary focus is supporting women to overcome adversity,” the rowers say on their website

“The vision of the Coxless Crew challenge is to generate awareness of women who face extreme adversity and to raise funds to support their journey towards long-term health and wellbeing.

“Any money raised for Walking with the Wounded will go into the UK’s first-ever fund dedicated to injured servicewomen.

“By completing this challenge the team wish to inspire others to reach for their own potential and to meet the challenges that life throws at them, however big or small. We will all have to face our own Pacific Ocean at some point in our lives.”

The Samoa Observer caught up with the girls on the Doris earlier this week as they prepared to depart from Apia.

They were full of praises for the friendliness, the warmth and the giving nature of the Samoan people.

Cohen told the Samoa Observer reporter that Samoa was the destination she was looking forward to the most.

“For all of us, Samoa represents a really, pertinent and important part of the journey,” she said.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better experience here to be honest. We’ve all had an opportunity to relax and recover which has been great as we didn’t have much of an opportunity in Hawai‘i to do that.

“We’ve all managed to see a small part of the island and the welcome and the people of Samoa have just been incredible.”

“It’s been really, really special. I don’t think any of us want to leave,” she said.

The patron of the Coxley Crew is super star, Kylie Minogue, whom they have met has helped spread the word about their journey, which has led more people to getting involved.

- PNC sources