Five women will become the first female crew to row from New York to Scilly when they arrive on the islands this weekend.

The Rannoch Women’s Challenge set off from New York on June 7 and originally aimed to travel over 3,000 miles in less than 43 days, breaking the record for the fastest crew to row the North Atlantic from west to east.

However, they recently wrote on their blog that the weather had "not been kind" but they are still attempting to break other records. 


They said of the challenge: "We will set a world first as the first women’s crew to cross the North Atlantic Ocean West-East and in doing so set a new women’s record."


Crew member Molly Brown, a 20-year-old Southampton University student, will also set a record for the youngest female to row an ocean.


However, they insisted that the Rannoch Women’s Challenge is more than just a group of women "chasing a few world firsts and world records across wild oceans", saying: "It is about supporting women to plan, train and achieve ‘professional’ expeditions. By professional we don’t mean in the monetary sense, we mean in the professional approach sense.


"We want to redefine what women can do by drawing on the knowledge of the best ocean rowers, the finest boat builders, the most skilled waterwomen, the fastest Olympic rowers, most informed weather routers and collaborative sponsors.


"In future years the alumni and supporters of the Rannoch Women’s Challenge will grow and be come a significant resource for other female ocean rowers to draw on."


The crew is skippered by Olympic silver medalist Guin Batten, who holds the record for the fastest row across the English Channel. Aside from Brown, the other members are water ski instructor Alex Holt, Team GB wild water racer Gilly Mara and Fastnet and Atlantic crossing veteran Mary Sutherland. 

The women are rowing in Liberty, one of the fastest rowing boats in production, taking two-hour shifts throughout the crossing.

St Mary's harbour is on standby for the Liberty to arrive from Sunday.


They will then go on to a grand finish at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.


The crew are blogging their progress on facebook and at their website

© All images on this site are either owned by This is Scilly, published under licence or reproduced with kind permission.