Margaret Bowling is 1 of 16 international rowers on ‘Big Blue’ – the world’s first ocean rowing Catamaran.
On 15th January 2011 Margaret Bowling (Australian) officially set off from Morocco with 15 other rowers aboard ‘Big Blue’ in a bid to set a World Record – to row the Atlantic Ocean (East to West) in record time.
The existing record for rowing the Atlantic Ocean when ‘Big Blue’ departed was 33 days set by Leven Brown in 2008 however within the last few hours this record has been broken by Team Hallin (UK) in a record time of 31 days . The ‘Big Blue’ team had aimed to break the 33 day record with a brand new boat design – the first ever 16 man ocean rowing Catamaran (39ft) but everything has been against them from the start and the World Record is now just a very slim chance.
Margaret Bowling (31, Hobart, Australia) rowed the Atlantic Ocean in 2007/8 however due to requiring assistance during the row she failed to gain an official record for being the first ever Australian woman to row an ocean (n.b: to date no other Australian woman has rowed the Atlantic).
When a last minute seat, aboard ‘Big Blue’, came up with just days to go – Aussie Margaret saw her chance to grab the official record and at the same time set a World Record for speed.
After a false start (‘Big Blue’ departed on 11th January 2011 initially however had to turn back to lighten the load and re-start the official record) ‘Big Blue’ quickly hit poor weather and ended up on sea anchor going nowhere. On Day 10 they rowed just 11miles and have battled with flooded rowing stations.
The ‘Big Blue’ team have tried their hardest to keep spirits up despite the World Record attempt fading fast. Margaret has been audio blogging and her recent audio blog shows signs of depleted morale. In a broken up voice blog Margaret can be heard describing how she packed her essentials (including her passport) in a waterproof bag and was ready to swim to the first passing ship. Listen to Margaret’s Audio blog at: https://margaretbowling.wordpress.com/
In true ‘never give up’ Aussie style Margaret has picked herself up and is now talking of light hearted team spirited tasks such as cutting crew member’s hair – with safety scissors!
Margaret continues to fulfil her role as ‘Watch commander’ aboard ‘Big Blue’ and her wealth of ocean rowing experience will ensure the team gets to their destination safely.
They are now on day 23 of the row and have rowed 1379 miles from their starting point (Tarfeya) and have 1909 miles to their finish point in Barbados. At the moment they’re rowing around 90miles per day.
Other boats currently rowing the Atlantic Ocean – are ‘Sara G’ and ‘Britannia III’ – traditional single hull ocean rowing boats. To see their progress visit: http://www.oceanrowing.com/SaraG_2011_comparative.htm
Margaret and the ‘Big Blue’ team are due to arrive in Barbados during the first week of March 2011.
Notes to Editor:
To speak with Margaret directly you may call her Sat phone on 881631589486 alternatively message her for FREE (to arrange an interview time), via http://messaging.iridium.com/ (160 character message for free).
For further information/photos please contact Amy Green on firstname.lastname@example.org