Former student Phoebe plans to row across the Atlantic

November 13, 2020

Former student Phoebe Wright is about to spend quite a bit of time rowing. In December, Phoebe will be rowing unaided from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to English Harbour in Antigua as a member of The Bristol Gulls, a four-women team.

The team are taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a 3000-mile rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean. With no sails or engine as back up, they will be rowing for 12 hours a day each, 2 hours on/2 hours off and burning 6,000 calories daily whilst facing 20ft waves, all in a 28ft ocean rowing boat.

Not only are they one of the few all-female rowing teams this year, they are also the first team to row an eco rowing boat in this race. The Bristol Gulls worked with boat builders to alter the design and build of an R45 ocean rowing boat to make it more eco friendly. The boat is made of three main components – resin, fibre and core. The resin is a green epoxy resin, with over 50% of the carbon used to produce it coming from plant origin; the glass fibre is manufactured 100% from a renewable energy source – wind, and the core has been manufactured from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic bottles.

The Bristol Gulls campaign is focused on sustainability, protecting the world’s waterways and oceans and working towards a healthier planet. The Gulls are committed to encouraging people to embrace sustainability in their lives.

Phoebe describes more about their push for sustainability,

“We aim for as much of our challenge to be sustainable as possible: as well as our boat, the kit and clothing we wear, the equipment we use, and the kind of packaging (especially our food) we take on board has all been carefully considered. No stone is unturned in our mission to have the most sustainable row we can.”

“Alongside proving that sustainability is an option in ocean rowing, and inspiring change amongst our supporters, we are also raising money for the RNLI and Clean Up Bristol Harbour, two charities that promote a safe and healthy relationship with our waterways and oceans.”

Phoebe, who graduated from HSDC Alton (then Alton College) in 2010, credits the College:

“It provided me with an outstanding education and I was inspired to push myself and take on adventures and challenges by my teachers there.”

Despite the global pandemic and recent lockdown, the race will certainly go ahead, with crews setting off on 12 December. You can follow the progress of The Bristol Gulls through a live tracking app. Details can be found on their website.

To find out more about the team, their upcoming challenge and to potentially help sponsor them, visit their website.