February 22, 2019

World-record breaker, Sally Kettle, prepares to row Great Britain’s coast

Coast Girls’ Sally Kettle & Charlene Ayres get ready to row over 2000 miles for FireFighters charity

On June 1st 2013, Sally Kettle & Charlene Ayres, will be competing in GB Row 2013 in what has been acknowledged ‘the toughest rowing race on earth’. GSM London are proud to be in a position to support Sally’s new adventure and are rooting for her and the team.

Eight crews will complete in the non-stop 2,000-mile rowing race around the coast of Britain.  They are all chasing a £100,000 bounty, the richest prize ever offered in rowing anywhere on the planet, awarded to the first crew to smash the current world record for the 2,000-mile odyssey, which stands at just under 27 days. If the Coast Girls were to win, they would enter the Guinness World Record books as the first female pair to do it.  In addition, they plan to donate a proportion of the winnings to their chosen charities, investing the remainder the support further endeavours.

The ‘Coast Girls’ team will race a human powered boat around the UK, braving perilous weather conditions, some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world & racing against some of the fastest tides. The race rules allow no contact with the shore or support vessels. Everything has to be planned in advance. Every challenge has to be dealt with using the materials and skills brought on board at the start. The girls are racing to raise money for the Firefighers Charity and the MS Society.

The Course

The race starts from London’s TOWER BRIDGE, heading out into the English Channel – The Lizard – Land’s End – Irish Sea – John O’Groats – North Sea – finishing back under TOWER BRIDGE.


So how extreme is the row?

  • A journey of 2000 nautical Miles
  • The race has only been completed by eight rowers
  • Unpredictable weather, fast changing tides & the busiest

shipping lines in the world to contend with

  • Physical & emotional turmoil of rowing with and against the tide approx. 6hrs on/6hrs off, 24hrs a day.
  • Consuming 6000 calories a day but still losing up to 2 stone in weight 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Charlene to complete this 2000 mile challenge.  The GB Row 2013 is widely acknowledged as the ‘the toughest rowing race on earth’ and with only eight week’s of training remaining, there’s no doubt this is going to be gruelling.  However, there’s simply no greater motivation than raising money for two such deserving causes, the FireFighter’s Charity & the MS Society, not to mention the amazing support we hope to receive from everyone across GB.” said Sally Kettle.

A renowned adventurer, Sally has already completed two successful Atlantic Ocean crossings & had pretty much hung up her oars.  But it seems the call of the ocean was too strong.  Sally has jumped on board at the last minute to support Charlene Ayres, a senior spa therapist from Cardiff, who found herself without a rowing partner, when her fiancé dropped out just eight weeks before the race. The row is set to start from Tower Bridge on Saturday 1st June.

It’s a twist of fate that this also marks the tenth anniversary of Sally’s first attempt to row the Atlantic.  She too had also planned to row with her boyfriend, but he suffered an epileptic seizure & could not complete the challenge. Sally’s mother Sarah stepped in. Like Sally now, Sarah had only 8 weeks to prepare for the journey.

As an experienced competitor, Sally will join Charlene, as they circumnavigate Britain’s coastline, a journey of approximately 2000 miles through treacherous waters.

The girls are raising money for the FireFighter’s Charity & the MS Society, causes close to both their hearts.  In addition, Sally is keen to ‘Inspire a Generation’ by inviting families to get out into the great outdoors together & visit Britain’s spectacular coastline. The public will be asked to post photographs of their day out on Twitter. (@Come2theCoast, #CoastGirls)

Due to the very limited preparation time, Sally is looking for project sponsorship. With the name of the boat still up for grabs she is keen to speak to anyone who would like to support this challenge.

Only eight people have ever successfully rowed around Great Britain. Please help the girls make it ten & secure a new World Record!

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