Jasmine Harrison happened to be in Antigua as the rowers in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge race were finishing their cross-Atlantic journey in 2018. She was immediately taken. "It wasn't just watching and holding the flares at Nelson's Dockyard for a race finish that inspired me," she wrote on her site Rudderly Mad. "It was also talking to a family member of a lad that had just completed who told me just how much of an amazing thing it was. I didn't say, 'not a chance I would do that' — it was more a fact of why not do it?"
On Saturday, the 21-year-old from North Yorkshire, England, didn't just complete the 3,000-mile trip from San Sebastian in Spain's Canary Islands to Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua's English Harbour, but she also set a record as the youngest female to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. On top of that, she set a world record as the youngest female to row solo across any ocean, completing the task in 70 days, three hours, and 48 minutes, according to Atlantic Campaigns, who organized the challenge.
Growing up in a landlocked town, the part-time swimming teacher and bartender only started rowing during the global pandemic in July. Even so, she was determined to complete the challenge this year. "I just felt like I needed to do it," she told Good Morning Britain after her finish. "I knew I wouldn't be happy until I had rowed across the Atlantic."
The high-stakes solo journey was already a feat of its own, as she regulated her sleep based on the weather conditions, sleeping entire days at a time, and at other times, going an entire day without sleep, she told the British program. Most days during the two months, she paddled 12 hours a day, The New York Times reported.
She also hit some harrowing moments, facing 20-foot waves, being traced by sharks, and having a near-miss with a 750-foot tanker, according to the Mirror. She also capsized twice, according to a tweet from her team.
After entering the harbor on Saturday, she wobbled as she took her first steps on solid ground in 10 weeks, The New York Times reported, adding that she was excited for her first meal of burger and fries. She had mainly consumed peanut butter and Nutella during her journey, her official Twitter account said.
"I may row again," she said after her arrival, the Times reported. "But, actually, I'd like to give that opportunity to other people, inspire them to do it. Right now, I'm just excited to see what the rest of my life will be."
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