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Team Wild Waves: reflecting on a record-breaking journey

Team Wild Waves have been back on land for just over one month, following their world record breaking row across the Atlantic. Suffice it to say, Jessica and Charlotte are an absolute inspiration to aspiring rowers everywhere.

And on International Women’s Day, we felt that there was no better time to reflect on and celebrate their astonishing achievement. So, My Pension Expert caught up with Team Wild Waves following their recent return to the UK…

What motivated you to sign up to the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge?

Jessica Oliver (JO): Charlotte works for Diageo who owns Talisker, and this was how it was put on our radar.

Charlotte Harris (CH): We had already done several challenges and we wanted to find one bigger and better and with an opportunity to raise as much money for charity as we could. When we found out that only 180 women had ever rowed an ocean before and we were going to be one of the first woman’s pairs since 2012, it only motivated us more.

What were the major challenges you faced throughout your TWAC journey? How were you able to overcome them?

CH: Both of us are quite larger than life personalities who don’t particularly take ourselves seriously, but we take what we do seriously. There was a lot of feedback at the beginning about not being ourselves and to come across more serious and professional, but we held fast in our approach that we wanted this to be fun and we wanted people to see the journey of being novices to making it across the ocean.

JO: It actually helped in the long run as we were able to prove that you can achieve anything you put your mind to and you don’t need to conform to other people’s expectations when taking on serious challenges. The most important thing is to be true to who you are as an individual instead of trying to be something you’re not – it takes too much energy, and you need the energy to succeed.

What does your world record breaking achievement mean to you?

JO: The record is amazing and something that we are so incredibly proud of but regardless we are just so happy to be able to say we rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. It’s an incredible feat and crossing that finish line is something that’s going to stay with us for the rest of our lives – an unbeatable feeling.

Do you think more can be done to increase women’s participation in rowing?

JO: We think certainly for Ocean Rowing there is space to close the gap on the male participants. It’s about 180 Vs 1250 at the moment, but we hope that by showing women out there that you can be novice and not have a clue before signing up that everyone has it within them to successfully row an ocean!

What’s next for Team Wild Waves?

CH: Well, we’re going to focus on ourselves and make sure our foundations are healthy and we’re constantly growing as people but there definitely needs to be a little focus on friends, families, and jobs for the next couple of years. Pay them back for supporting us for the last two years! Post that though…..there is certainly whisperings of a record breaking attempt of the Pacific!

Find out more about their journey, how to donate to their chosen charities, and view their arrival video here.


Image source: Atlantic Campaigns