A British woman has become the fastest in the world to row from the US mainland to Hawaii.
Lia Ditton, 40, completed the journey from San Francisco to the island of Oahu in 86 days, 10 hours, five minutes and 56 seconds.
The London-born rower set out on 17 June and reached the Waikiki Yacht Club on 12 September at 6.10am, breaking Roz Savage’s 2008 world record of 100 days.
She overcame illness, food shortages and the tragic news her fellow rower Angela Madsen, 60, had died attempting the same route after 57 days.
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The former US Marine, who later became a Paralympic shot put medallist and world rowing champion, died while carrying out underwater maintenance work on her 20ft boat in June.
But despite that and Ms Ditton’s bid nearly ending just a day after it began – when the Continental Shelf left her tackling waves the size of buildings – she carried on.
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The 40-year-old described her voyage as the “greatest psychological challenge of my life”.
On 6 July, she faced yet more adversity when a rogue wave capsized her 21ft boat.
Image: It took her 86 days, 10 hours, five minutes and 56 seconds to complete the crossing
She rejected calls to abandon the vessel and managed to clamber back on board.
Despite the hardships, there were also moments of joy, when Ms Ditton witnessed spectacular rainbows, nighttime skies, sunsets and sunrises, while sharks, flying fish, yellowfin tuna, seabirds and squid all came close, or on to, her boat.
Waikiki Yacht Club commodore Hideki Hayashi described the voyage as “a remarkable feat of endurance and determination”.
Ms Ditton plans to spend the next few weeks recuperating before travelling home to her base in San Francisco.
Her next target is to try to become the first solo rower to cross the north Pacific, by making the 5,500-mile journey from Japan to San Francisco in spring 2021.
Source : Sky News