Rower's epic journey to help amputee

  • 27/03/2014

World record rower Tara Remington is getting set to take on the Pacific Ocean.

The 43-year-old will row 4000km from California to Hawaii, raising money for charity.

But taking on Mother Nature isn't always smooth sailing.

"I feel a little like I was born to do this," says Remington. "I'm a bit like a dog and I need regular exercise, and when I did my first row the idea just captured me."

Along with American Paralympian Angela Madsen, Remington will set out from Long Beach, California, rowing 4000km to Waikiki, Hawaii – a trip taking roughly 55 days.

The journey will be completed in 2017 when they row from Hawaii to New Zealand, taking turns rowing in two-hour shifts.

"When you finish your row, about 10 minutes before that you wake your teammate up," says Remington. "They'll come out, rub the sleep out of their eyes. They'll get on the oars then you'll have 10 minutes to fill up water bottles, have some food and get in the cabin to have as much sleep as you possibly can."

It's Remington's third ocean row. In 2005 her boat was attacked by a shark. That was followed by a freak wave which capsized the boat, splitting Remington's head open.

It forced her and her partner to abandon ship after 47 days at sea.

"That was probably the time when I thought we are never going to see our families again," she says.

On top of that Remington also suffers from sea sickness, often having to row with a bucket between her legs.

"It's hell for a week, but when that week is over it's pretty good – unless there's a storm and it comes back again."

But she's picking up the oars again, partly because of 10-year-old Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman.

Charlotte lost her arms and legs to meningitis when she was a baby. Remington is raising money to help get Charlotte to a special camp for amputees in the US.

It will also go towards new prosthetic limbs.

"I just really need some legs that are a perfect fit – my other old legs, the air comes in and I don't like it… This is going to help me a lot."

Remington says fundraising for Charlotte is now more important than ever, since the Meningitis Trust folded in 2007. 

And with more oceans out there, there's plenty more fundraising to be done.

"I'd love to be able to say I've rowed every ocean – the good thing is although I'm getting older, the oceans aren't going anywhere."

For now, neither is Remington – but that will change when she starts her Pacific adventure in May.

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source: newshub archive