Victoria Evans breaks the world record for fastest female solo row across the Atlantic Ocean

After setting off from Tenerife, Spain, on February 11, the 35-year-old covered 4,740 kilometers in 40 days and 19 hours before finally making landfall in Barbados.

“It was much more difficult than I expected,” she told CNN Sport. “Not physically, but in terms of terms.

“I’ve probably had the strongest kind of wind you can get out of the Atlantic for a very long time, and the resilience you need to keep that going has been tremendous.”

Evans had spent four years preparing for this trip of a lifetime, but nothing could prepare her for the reality of crossing an ocean.

Even before setting off, the flight was plagued by problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the challenge to be postponed for a year.

Then there was the logistical nightmare of ferrying the boat and herself across the border to reach the starting point in Spain, with Evans requesting additional government support to do so.

Once the challenge began, high winds made paddling—and sleeping—extremely difficult, while issues with the steering gear caused Evans to veer off course at times.

At one point she was stuck outside her cabin after a wave shut the door from the inside. It took me three hours to go through the lock with a blade.

There were the inevitable blisters and sunburns, though it sounded like Evans would thrive in the harsh conditions.

said Evans, who was inspired to cross the Atlantic after climbing Mont Blanc in 2017.

Evans broke the record for the fastest solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

‘We are very capable of training our brains’

“I think I really enjoy adventure sport because of the psychological elements of it and how compelling you are to get to know yourself and face yourself and the limits of where you can push yourself,” Evans added.

“We are very able to train our brains to allow us to achieve more but a lot of times people just don’t want to do that work.”

Evans lost just 4kg on the flight, something she attributes to her physical readiness and simple, nutritious diet while on the plane – using food as a recovery method whenever she feels fatigued.

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Music became very important to Evans while in transit. After all, no one can hear you sing when you are thousands of miles from Earth.

David Bowie, Elton John, and Sam Fender’s new album provided some of the hundreds of hours of music that blasted into the waves, providing consistent stimulus and a bit of company while Evans broke up in utter isolation.

Solitude, without the “special” wildlife I had the privilege of seeing along the way.

Turtles, sharks, and many fish provided mild relief for the mammoth crack, and Evans would take some time to stop paddling whenever something sticks its head out of the water.

She even saw a large group of dolphins as she celebrated her 35th birthday.

She said, “It was as if they had heard there was a party. I had never seen anything like it. Wherever I looked, there were dolphins.”

Although she admits she doesn’t miss the stresses of life on the ocean, Evans realizes it was an experience she’ll never have again, smiling as she recalls the times she covered her navigation lights and stared up at the pristine night sky, lost in the stars above.

“You’ll never be there again and it’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re chasing the record, because you’re trying to go as fast as you can,” she said.

Defending women in sports

Evans admitted that she wasn’t particularly athletic as a child, and says that her 15-year-old self would have never believed she could set such a record.

While the challenge was a personal goal for Evans, she also completed it to raise awareness and money for charity in the UK. women in sports who aspires to “give every woman and girl the opportunity to participate in sport”.

Evans has already raised more than £24,000 ($31,526) for the charity, and through her legal work, she wants to advocate for more change now that she’s back on land.

“Women are very capable in sports,” she said. “It’s getting a lot better, but it still seems like there’s a disregard for women.

“I want the message to be for everyone, but especially women and girls, to know that they are absolutely capable of anything they plan to do.

“And on a broader level for sport as an industry to show that change has to come and it’s an outdated view to assume we need a helping hand or small events.”

Before going to work, Evans had been enjoying life in Barbados.

Joined by her family and friends, she spent her first night on land watching the sun set over the ocean she had just conquered.

But make no mistake, she doesn’t plan to be back in a boat anytime soon.

“I’ve never felt in immediate and serious danger, but I was very aware that one change could put me in a life-threatening situation,” she said.

“I wouldn’t miss the stress of that.”

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