Three extraordinary women will be setting out next month to attempt a world record in aid of cancer charities. The perils of the Atlantic lie ahead of them and their 25ft rowing boat. Kat Cordiner, Charlotte Irving and Abby Johnston will be rowing for two hours on and two hours off continuously for up to 60 days as part of the TaliskerWhisky Atlantic Challenge.
The ExtraOARDinary crew are not just friends who share a passion for rowing, they are aiming to turn the tide on cancer by raising money for three cancer charities: Cancer Research UK, Macmillan and The Royal Marsden. Kat has joined Abby and Charlotte, who’ve been friends since their schooldays at Lady Eleanor Holles school in Hampton, where Abby is a rowing coach.
For Kat, the challenge has particular significance as she has personally battled cancer, not once but twice. Kat was diagnosed with cancer, which she managed to overcome until the pandemic, when her symptoms reappeared. This time, the cancer is considered incurable, though she is now back in remission for the second time. For Kat, this presented her an opportunity to “live like she had never lived before.”
Life on the open water across 3,000 miles of the Atlantic between La Gomera and Antigua will certainly present the ultimate life experience for these incredible women. The trio will be facing many obstacles that could cross their paths. They will be unsupported and have to manage every aspect of life on board including any problems that might occur.
They will need to maintain a hugely calorific diet, handle the intricacies of desalinating sea water for drinking and look out for large tankers and whatever else the Atlantic decides to throw at them.
I had the pleasure to chat to all three and their enthusiasm for the task ahead was intoxicating and addictive. They are hoping to break down some male dominated boundaries and join a cohort of ocean rowers where less than 20% are women whilst putting the CAN into cancer.
To find out more or donate to the fundraising effort, visit the website: