England

The Yorkshire Rows claim Atlantic record

Niki Doeg, 45, Helen Butters, 45, Frances Davies, 47, and Janette Benaddi, 51, onboard their boat Image copyright BEN DUFFY
Image caption The all-female crew set a new world record as they arrived in Antigua

Four Yorkshire women have rowed the Atlantic and have become the oldest all-female crew to complete the challenge, according to organisers.

The Yorkshire Rows completed the 3,000-mile challenge by reaching Antigua on their 68th day at sea.

Niki Doeg, 45, Helen Butters, 45, Frances Davies, 47, and Janette Benaddi, 51, left La Gomera in the Canary Islands on 20 December.

The crew encountered a hurricane, power failures and seasickness en-route.

They had to row naked after running out of clean clothes during the crossing.

Skipper Mrs Benaddi said: "It feels like a dream to have arrived.

"This race truly deserves to be called the world's toughest row - it felt like we were battling against the ocean and we are so proud to have achieved something that we originally thought was way beyond our capabilities.

"Less than 100 women have rowed an ocean and now we as four mums have added to that and achieved a world record.

"What an incredible feeling to share as four best friends."

The crew made land after 67 days five hours two minutes, said organisers of the Atlantic Challenge.

Image copyright BEN DUFFY
Image caption The crew encountered a hurricane, power failures, flying fish, seasickness and injuries to complete the endurance challenge

When the women were close to the official finishing line they said on their blog: "Can't wait to see our families and sure lots of happy tears will be flowing.

"And that first glass of champagne will go down a treat."

The women, who all have children at the same school and became friends after taking up rowing at a club in York, decided three years ago to take part in the race.

They are raising money to build a cancer care centre in Leeds. Some of the funds will also be donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Image copyright Welcome to Yorkshire
Image caption The team that beat the Atlantic: (left to right) Frances Davies, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Janette Benaddi

Yorkshire Rows was one of 26 crews taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites