Four women, one boat and a massive ocean without a man in sight



Map of the Pacific Ocean


RECORD TIME - The first female coxless crew to row across the Pacific Ocean completed their journey on Monday 25th January 2016 – a journey of some 8,446 miles from the US to Australia. It took them 257 days but a team of British women have become the first female crew to row across the Pacific Ocean. Two women rowing will produce between 150-300 watts of energy - so, between 1/5th and 1/3rd of a horsepower. A third of a horsepower driving a 29 foot boat is not going to go very fast - hence 257 days to row 9,200 miles = 1.49 miles per hour or 35.8 miles a day. Compare that to PlanetSolar a solar boat that managed 64 miles a day, or 2.66 mph - and the solar powered record holder is not that fast either (584 days to cover 37,296 miles) but is the current Guinness record holder.




On my tougher days it feels ambitious to make myself breakfast and blow dry my hair. So imagine my amazement at the thought of four women spending months rowing the Pacific Ocean in order to overcome adversity and raise money for charity!

This is exactly what the Coxless Crew is doing - a group of four women - who will be the first team to ever accomplish this incredible feat. Setting out from San Francisco in April of 2015, they have braved the elements and are travelling over 8,400 miles to their final destination of Cairns, Australia unsupported. They are taking this incredible journey to not only challenge themselves but to honor women that have fought and overcome adversity.







These amazing and bold women are made up of Natalia Cohen (40), Laura Penhaul (32), Emma Mitchell (30), and Meg Dyos (25). They eat, sleep, and row every day, 24 hours a day, all while at the mercy of the world's largest ocean, the Pacific.

They felt they had to challenge themselves - to prove that you can fight and overcome any challenge that is in your way. As the famous quote goes, "You cannot cross an ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." They have already faced great challenges - an issue with their MPPT battery that required them to stop over in Santa Barbara and literally start the journey over. They went an entire week without seeing the sun, while floating on the merciless and cold Pacific Ocean.

Sarah Moshman, Emmy Award winning filmmaker, is directing the documentary about their inspiring journey and the unique perils this story brings: "The beauty and the core of Losing Sight of Shore is that the Coxless Crew are truly telling their own story from the middle of the Pacific. I gave them the tools - cameras, microphones, hard drives, etc. and taught them how to use those tools. I empowered them to think of themselves as storytellers and bring the audience into life on Doris, their boat. It was a huge leap of faith for me as a filmmaker, not knowing if they'd film at all, or if they'd drop the cameras over the side of the boat (which has happened!). But what has evolved is 9 months of real, vulnerable, first person accounts of what it's like to row an ocean with no way out."







In Fall of 2016 there will be a feature-length documentary that shows the audience what it was like to live in the middle of the Pacific - including sharks and whales swimming below, breathtaking sunsets, torrential rain, friendships and rich emotions from their journey.

Losing Sight of Shore is about the real and symbolic challenges we all face, a lesson that we all have a Pacific Ocean to cross. We can cross it if we are willing to tap into our courage and the greater meaning for our lives and keep moving forward, just like the Coxless Crew. As Moshman said, "The Coxless Crew make me feel like I can do anything!" And who doesn't love a group of badass women showing us just how resilient the human spirit is!




The OAR-some Coxless Crew! Four British women rowers finish epic 9,200 mile journey across the Pacific from San Francisco to Australia – three months later than planned

After nine months at sea, four British female rowers have completed an epic journey across the Pacific - despite being three months behind schedule.

The group, called the Coxless Crew, set out on the journey from San Francisco last April, when they sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and pointed their 29ft pink boat called Doris, towards Australia.

And shortly before 1am on Monday after 257 days at sea, the four women nosed Doris's faded bow into the Marlin Marina in Cairns, Australia, where they were greeted by their proud family and friends

It came after they had to endure storms, enormous waves, sea sickness and the odd flying fish.

There was jubilation as the women, Laura Penhaul, Natalia Cohen, Emma Mitchell and Meg Dyos, hugged each other before joining hands and taking their first unsteady steps on to solid ground in months.

Afterwards, they sat down for a well-earned beer in front of scores of people, who cheered them ashore as the women described their arrival as an 'overwhelming experience.'

But there were conflicting emotions as they had to say goodbye to Doris, whose cramped cabins and salty deck had been their home for most of last year.



Jubilant rowing team reach Australian soil


WE HAVE ARRIVED! - More than 9 months after Doris set off from San Francisco, we have made land in Cairns, Australia. 257 days at sea, nearly 6200 hours of rowing, 1020+ dehydrated meals consumed, 7700+ litres of water drunk, 12 giant tubs of sudocrem, sea creatures, passing ships, sunsets, sunrises, torrential rain, black nights, starry nights, huge swells, flat calm, sea sickness, salt sores, storms, swimming, "showering", "bucketing", birthdays, Christmas, New Years, tears, hugs, laugher and unbreakable bonds formed between the 6 of us. We crossed our Pacific! Thank you all so much for supporting us and sharing our journey. We are hugely proud to have rowed in support of Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded.



Their final few days at sea were spent negotiating the Great Barrier Reef, dodging dive-bombing birds and enduring dwindling supplies.

But writing on their blog on Sunday, they said: 'It has been an exhausting and emotional few days as we make our approach to land.

'The last 8,500 nautical miles don't matter anymore, it is all about these last 20.

'It's fair to say that with physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and a lack of savoury food, we are being tested to our limits. 'However, this is where we draw on our spirit, row hard, row strong, row together.

The journey across the Pacific was split into three legs with supply stops in Hawaii and Samoa and was completed in its entirety by Ms Penhaul, 32, Ms Cohen, 40, both from London and Ms Mitchell, 30, from Marlow in Buckinghamshire

Isabel Burnham, 31, from Saffron Walden, completed the crew for the first leg, Lizanne van Vuuren, 27, took over for the second stage while Ms Dyos, 25, manned the oars for the final section.

The expedition got off to a bad start when water damage to Doris's battery charging system forced them back to California, costing 16 days.





Back on the ocean they rowed continuously as pairs in two-hour shifts, sleeping 90 minutes at a time.

Each consumed 5,000 calories a day, devouring freeze-dried meals with a side of protein bars, chocolate, fruit or nuts, washed down with desalinated sea water.

The rowers had to contend with a battering from a tropical storm, waves the size of houses and the heart-stopping approach of a humpback whale that surfaced just yards away.

Drenched by rain and seawater they endured painful sores, but also faced temperatures so hot they cooked a pancake on the deck just from the sun's rays.

Setbacks from El Nino and a notorious stretch of ocean where the winds died away left them weeks behind schedule, and when they reached Samoa they were days from running out of food, but emails and the occasional call from home helped them through the dark times.

But despite taking three months longer than planned, the expedition has set two world records with the women becoming the first all-female team and the first team of four to row the Pacific.

With their expedition - filmed for a documentary, Losing Sight Of Shore - now over, the Coxless Crew will concentrate on raising funds for the two charities they are supporting, Walking With The Wounded and Breast Cancer Care.

By Jennifer Newton 




SOLAR POWERED - Solar and wind power is gaining ground on fossil and nuclear fuels. Doris was built by Rossiter Rowing Boats. She is 29 ft long and 7 ft wide, made mainly of Carbon Fibre and is aptly painted pink. 

Rossiter Rowing Boats were established in 1938. They has a 100% success rates for their Pacific Ocean models. They have been building boats for approaching 75 years over three generations where the family an interest in rowing is deep rooted. Family members have rowed for GB teams at international competitions and for Cambridge in the boat race. Their boat building team have a wealth of knowledge, in addition to working on numerous CE marked ocean rowing boats they have built World renowned racing yachts and luxury cruising yachts.





A team of female rowers have arrived in Australia after spending more than nine months at sea, rowing more than 9,200 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

The Coxless Crew began their journey at San Francisco in April last year, when they set sail under the Golden Gate Bridge towards Australia in a pink 29ft boat named Doris.

After 257 days at sea, during which time the group battled tropical storms, huge waves and El Nino conditions, the team finished their journey, arriving into the Marlin Marina at Cairns shortly before 1 am on Monday.

Crowds gathered to welcome four of the rowers, Laura Penhaul, Natalia Cohen, Emma Mitchell and Meg Dyos, who hugged each other just before joining hands to take their first steps on land for more than three months.

The women described their expedition as an “overwhelming experience”.

During the final days of their journey the team negotiated the Great Barrier Reef and were faced with dwindling supplies in the last few miles.

Writing on their blog on Sunday they said: “It has been an exhausting and emotional few days as we make our approach to land.”

“It’s fair to say that with physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and a lack of savoury food we are being tested to our limits.

“However, this is where we draw on our spirit, row hard, row strong, row together.” 

Despite taking three months longer than planned the expedition has set two world records, with the women becoming the first all-female team and the first team of four to row the Pacific.

The journey – split into three legs - was completed in its entirety by three of the crew – Ms Penhaul, 31, Ms Cohen, 40, both from London and Ms Mitchell, 30, from Marlow in Buckinghamshire.

Isabel Burnham, 31, from Saffron Walden near Cambridge, completed the first leg; Lizanne van Vuuren, 27, a South African who grew up in Newbury, took over the second stage; and Meg Dyos, from London, completed the final section.

They rowed continuously as pairs in two-hour shifts, sleeping 90 minutes at a time. Each consumed 5,000 calories a day, eating freeze-dried meals and protein bars.

Drenched in rain and seawater they endured painful sores and also faced fiercely hot temperatures.

Their expedition – filmed for a documentary Losing Sight of Shore – raised funds for two charities, Walking with the Wounded and Breast Cancer Care.




Converting human effort into electrical energy diagram


OXFORD STATS - 179 crews competed in the 2011 Summer Eights races. Let us assume that each of the 1432 rowers at the event trained 1 hour per week on an ergometer, or eight hours over the course of Trinity. This means that a cumulative total of 11,400 hours was spent tugging furiously at a handle during that term.

HOW MUCH POWER IS THAT? - These are rough estimates of the efficiency of the circuit components:

Alternator: 60%
Inverter: 85%
Battery (storage): 90%
Losses due to friction: negligible

Giving us an overall efficiency of about 45% (just under half of the mechanical energy in the flywheel is converted to electrical energy).

Assuming that the rowers held a steady and moderate pace of 2:12 minutes per 500m on the rowing machine, this equates to a mechanical power output of 150 watts - divided by 45% gives us 68 watts of electrical power to power a traditional incandescent light bulb. If all Oxford rowers followed the training schedule outlined above, they would collectively generate 790 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy per term.






Sir Ranulph Fiennes

‘Always during a journey into the unknown there are moments when we want to turn back, when we lose sight of our direction and even our purpose. These four young women are themselves heading off on a great adventure but their purpose is clear. They are preparing themselves for 6 months of being outside their comfort zone facing a huge mental and physical undertaking. The forces driving this courageous endeavor is their collaborative spirit and hope to inspire change. The Coxless Crew have my full support and I wish them strength and success for their admirable challenge.’

Sir Steve Redgrave CBE

Won 5 Gold medals at consecutive Olympics and an early 6th Bronze. Advocate and keen spokesman of ensuring there is a lasting legacy of sport in this country.

‘Dear The Coxless Crew, Wishing you all the best for this incredible, unique, world first challenge which you are about to embark in. I know that what you are doing will inspire many to support the charities close to your hearts. Good luck to all of you. Sir Steve Redgrave’

Chrissie Wellington

4 Times World Ironman Champion. Leading spokeswoman for promotion of female representation in the media and Government led initiatives.

‘The Coxless Crew are a shining light for us all to follow. They show all of us the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones, living life to the full, exploring, adventuring and never ever looking back to think “what if”. They also demonstrate the ability that we all have to use our own personal platforms, no matter how big or small, to support causes close to our heart. I’m truly inspired (and astounded!) by the sheer scale of their challenge and want to wish them all the best in their long journey to Australia. Good luck girls! May the wind always be at your back!’

Naomi Riches

British adaptive rower who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics and a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics

‘When I found out about these ladies from Emma’s mum I was really keen to support them. They have a mind blowing challenge ahead for 2 very worthy charities and I have every faith that they will achieve their goal. The charities, Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded are charities that many people can relate to in some way; I have friends and relatives that could do with the support of both charities and this makes the girls Pacific Ocean challenge even more special for me. Good luck Coxless Crew, go make us proud!!’

Dee Caffari MBE

A British Sailor who became the first woman to sail around the world solo, in both directions.

‘The coxless crew are a reminder to all of us what is achievable with some tenacity, determination and a little creative thinking. To put yourself far outside your comfort zone all for the good of supporting others is truly inspirational. I shall be following this team closely and wishing them the very best on this huge and incredible challenge.’
Dee Caffari MBE

Emma Sanderson

Youngest female to ever sail solo around the world. ‘I believe that these four ladies have the determination and skill to realise their goals and dreams in their pacific row, where they will undoubtably experience challenges and obstacles not even yet thought of!! In doing so they are boosting charities of such great importance and by supporting this challenge and buying a mile, we get to be a part of their dream and live it with them! Thank you girls!’

Debra Searle

Rowed Solo across the Atlantic in 2002 after her husband had to leave the boat. ‘This journey will change your lives forever. You will witness scenes and emotions that others will struggle to fathom. It will be worth every bit of financial burden, hard work, stress and tears that will inevitably take place on your way to the start line. I wish you a following wind for every step and stroke of the way.’

Sir Chay Blythe

Rowed the Atlantic in 1966, First person to sail westwards around the world non-stop, 1997 knighted for his extensive services to sailing.

Anna Hemmings

Most successful female canoeist, 2 times Olympian, 6 times World Champion.

Sarah Outen MBE

First woman & youngest person to row solo across the Indian and North Pacific Solo.

Simon Shaw

Double Sailing World Champion. What an incredible Project and amazing team. You girls totally rock….! 2014 the Pacific will not know what has hit it. This is one of the most ambitious adventures I have worked with and I will be with you in spirit every mile of the way!

Mickey Bushell M.B.E

London 2012 T53 100m Champion. Words really can’t describe the magnitude of what these ladies are going to undertake, 8,446 miles of the most unforgiving ocean on the planet, 6 months at sea in a cramped ocean rowing boat, just thinking about undertaking a voyage like that you would have to be pretty special, but these ladies are not just thinking about it they are doing it! I wish the team every success and look forward to hearing about the adventure of a lifetime.

Ben Hunt-Davis MBE,

Olympic Gold Medallist and Director of Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Ltd. What a fantastic adventure to be a part of. To commit to taking on such a challenge with the risks, highs and lows that will undoubtedly be experienced is amazing. The crew have my full admiration and support.

Alex Corbisiero,

Northampton Saints & England RFU. Pretty impressive, rowing the Pacific Ocean! Worth supporting, please check them out. #brave




GIRL POWERED - Two on, two off. A human develops a lot less than a horsepower. In fact a trained cyclist can produce about 400 watts of mechanical power for an hour or more, but adults of good average fitness develop between 50 and 150 watts for an hour of vigorous exercise. A healthy well-fed laborer over the course of an 8-hour work shift can sustain an average output of about 75 watts.

Could rowers utilize their training to serve the greater good? An ergometer is simply an energy-transfer machine: a pulley system which converts the chemical energy in your muscles to mechanical energy that drives a flywheel. Replace that with an alternator – a device that turns mechanical energy into electrical energy – and we can harness that power for household appliances.

OXFORD STATS - 179 crews competed in the 2011 Summer Eights races. Let us assume that each of the 1432 rowers at the event trained 1 hour per week on an ergometer, or eight hours over the course of Trinity. This means that a cumulative total of 11,400 hours was spent tugging furiously at a handle during that term.





Film contact:









Youtube watch
Coxless Crew
Losing sight of shore

Huffington post Heather Martin four badass  women are rowing the Pacific Ocean

Daily Mail UK news Joy-Coxless-Crew-complete-9-200-mile-Pacific-Ocean-row

standard news-uk-women-rowers-aim-to-conquer-the-pacific-in-boat-called-doris

CNN edition news 2016-january-25-sport-british-rowers-pacific-ocean

Daily Mail I did crossing help God Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov 63 reaches Australia 160 days sea rowing 16000km Pacific Ocean




Humpback whales, like all marine life, are endangered by climate change







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