The four women rowed their way from San Francisco to Hawaii, only sleeping for 90 minutes at a time.

Four intrepid women have just broken the world record for rowing across the Pacific Ocean, completing the feat in just over 34 days. The Lat35 team, which included Libby Costello, Sophia Denison-Johnston, Brooke Downes and Adrienne Smith, completed the 2,400 nautical miles from San Francisco to Honolulu on Tuesday.

Speaking to Good Morning America, Denison-Johnston explained that the unassisted crew took two-hour shifts – sleeping for just 90 minutes at a time. The record-breaking voyage was the first time anyone in the boat had rowed unassisted and in the open sea.

It was all part of The Great Pacific Race, which starts from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and ends on the Oahu shores of Hawaii. Since the inaugural race in 2014, the route has been rowed by 16 Guinness World Record holders – including the first blind athlete to row the distance. 

The four women rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii in just over 34 days – smashing the current women’s record.

In the Lat35 team’s case, they managed to nab the women’s world record for the race with a time of 34 days, 15 hours and 11 minutes. The men’s world record is just four days quicker.

Rowing continuously for so many days while being able to only nap for 90 minutes sounds, for most of us, like a nightmare. But then you consider things like how to fuel when you’re moving for 12 hours a day. Smith updated her Instagram followers throughout the journey, detailing how sick she was of eating dried food, and the quantities of sweets needed to keep going. “I’ve struggled to get enough food in me these last few weeks, even when I get to eat as much candy as I want,” she wrote.

“I bet if kids knew they got to eat as much candy as they wanted, they would all want to row across the ocean.”

But despite battling seasickness and harsh weather conditions to not only reach the end of the course but to do it so quickly, one team member is keen to stress that her mates are all just regular women. “I want people to take away… that these women are so incredible but we’re not superhuman,” Downes told the news network. “There’s nothing that we’re born with that makes us any different than anybody else.”

And that’s an important message to convey, given that their row was primarily a fundraising mission for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Some of us may end up doing extraordinary endurance events, most probably won’t – and that’s fine. Perhaps the best takeaway from this incredible bunch of women is something Smith shared online: “Recently read the book The Magic Of Awareness and a few nuggets are helping me to stop trying so hard: let things be as they are, including emotions. [Having] awareness of them is the magic… not getting through them.” Wise words.

Images: Great Pacific Race

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