Yorkshire Rows brave a ‘scary’ storm on the way to halfway mark

Yorkshire rowers Janette Benaddi, Niki Doeg, Francis Davies and Helen Butters are rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. (Picture by Tony Johnson)

Yorkshire rowers Janette Benaddi, Niki Doeg, Francis Davies and Helen Butters are rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. (Picture by Tony Johnson)

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Yorkshire Rows have overcome an intimidating storm on the way to reaching the halfway point of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The four working mothers from Yorkshire, who make up the team, were brought to a halt by the conditions but are expected to battle on again in the rowing race from tonight.

The Yorkshire Rows team have reached the half-way mark.

The Yorkshire Rows team have reached the half-way mark.

The team - Janette Benaddi, Frances Davies, Niki Doeg and Helen Butters - are around 1,400 nautical miles through their journey. They first encountered the storm on Monday night then deployed their para anchor, used to stabilise the boat and stop themselves from being blown off course. The ladies then entered their cabins, which are small and can become oppressively hot during the day, and battened down the hatches.

Having ridden out the storm, they have survived unscathed and hope to lift the para anchor later tonight so that they can start rowing again. The ladies can now concentrate again on consolidating their healthy mid-table position in the race.

Niki Doeg said: “We’ve had a tough few days with a major storm that has been scary and frustrating as you can’t row. You just have to wait for the storm to pass. We’ve also had to battle with power issues which means we have to physically pump water every day, for around six hours a day.

“Hopefully we can start rowing again and get on with our journey. We just can’t wait until we are reunited with our family and friends. Every stroke we make in the water with our oars is another stroke nearer to them.”

The Yorkshire Rows team are currently in the middle of the Atlantic.

The Yorkshire Rows team are currently in the middle of the Atlantic.

Although they have already been forced to deal with strong winds and heavy seas, they are hoping that the worst of the weather is behind them now. Messages of support are helping them through these tougher times. The upside of the storm, though, was that they managed to gain a much-needed break from rowing.

They will continue to burn around 8,000 calories a day and will have lost approximately 20% of their body weight each by the time they reach the finish. The team will continue to take it in turns to row two hours on, two hours off, for 24 hours per day. They are raising money for two charities, Maggies Cancer Caring Centre and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Life on board with the Yorkshire Rows team.

Life on board with the Yorkshire Rows team.