Sara Brewer: Briton, 64, becomes oldest woman to row across any ocean after 3,000-mile trip

March 08, 2020

A 64-year-old Briton has become the oldest woman to row across any ocean after completing a 3,000-mile trip across the Atlantic.

Sara Brewer set off from La Gomera on 12 December alongside her 35-year-old rowing partner Ann Prestidge.

The pair then rowed round-the-clock by taking 1.5-hour rotations to complete their transatlantic trip on Saturday night - the eve of International Women's Day - as they reached the coast of Antigua.

Ms Brewer, who took up rowing just six years ago, said she felt a new appreciation for her "precious life" after the challenge, and noted the mental and physical toll it took on them both.

She said: "We never anticipated it would take us this long. We were hoping to finish in mid-February, so the extended row has been tough both mentally and physically."

The London-based HSBC employee went on to say the duo had employed the 24-hour rowing cycle so they could finish before running out of food, and added: "For the past three weeks, we've been surviving on two meals a day and next to no sleep.

"We're delighted to finally set foot on land."

She continued: "I appreciate how lucky I am in my normal life and I will never again look upon it as being dull and mundane.

"It's very precious, and I'm looking forward to getting back to some sort of mundane, ordinary, precious life!"

The pair had battled through 20-metre waves, storms, broken equipment, food-rationing and injuries to complete the crossing, according to a press release.

Ms Brewer met Ms Prestidge, who is originally from London now living in Leeds, in 2013 when they were both at the Poplar, Blackwall and District Rowing Club.

They were inspired to take up the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge after Ms Brewer read the first few pages of The Crossing by Olympic rower James Cracknell and TV presenter Ben Fogle.

This was despite their longest row being 2,850-miles short of the transatlantic crossing.

But the pair persevered and went on to raise more than £66,000 for Alzheimer's Society and Street League, a sport for employment charity.

"I am overwhelmed at the support we have received and to know that our efforts will be helping others through our chosen charities," Ms Brewer said.

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