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Success on the waves

25 Ionawr 2008

Atlantic rowing group

Cardiff graduate Jo Davies has crossed the finishing line in the Atlantic Rowing Race with her crew Unfinished Business, breaking a world record in the process.

Jo, who graduated from the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences with a degree in Marine Geography, competed in the race with three women - Emily Kohl, Sara Kessans and Tara Remington - who all failed to finish the crossing in 2005.

Together they have rowed into the record books as the fastest womens four to make the transatlantic crossing from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua.

Unfinished Business completed the race in 51 days, 16 hours and 31 minutes beating the previous record which stood at 67 days, 7 hours and 20 minutes.

Jo said: "We’re delighted not only to have finished the race, but to have smashed the world record. It was a fantastic feeling to cross the finishing line in Antigua, completely different to what we all experienced during our last attempt at the race."

All four of the crew competed in the 2005 race in separate boats but had to retire for different reasons; Jo had to be rescued from her boat after falling and injuring her back during a storm. Americans Emily and Sara spent 16 hours clinging to their boat after capsizing, whilst New Zealander Tara’s boat sank after being attacked by a shark.

Their second attempt had a happier ending, and Unfinished Business arrived in Antigua on 23 January after leaving La Gomera on 3 December 2007. They raced their 30ft boat the 2500 nautical miles of the journey, spending Christmas and New Year at sea.

"There were highs and lows throughout the 51 days" said Jo, "including extreme weather, being tailed by sharks and, at times, sheer exhaustion, but we defeated all of those things. We’ve got some fantastic memories of the race, and the support we’ve received from family and friends has been amazing. The ocean was kind to us this time, and we’ll all miss it, but we’ve achieved what we set out to do. Now it’s time to celebrate our success!"