Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge: Yorkshire woman aiming to join elite band of rowers to have crossed the Atlantic

The world's toughest rowing competition will see those taking part face storms, sea sickness, sleep deprivation and salt sores.

But those facing the elements in this year’s 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge insist it’s worth it.

Laura-Jayne Pattinson, 26, from West Yorkshire, hopes she and her three crewmates will join a small number of women who have successfully crossed the Atlantic.

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The foursome will be on the oars, two hours, two hours off, during the 3,000-mile race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua, which starts on December 12.

Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing ChallengeTalisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge
Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge

A total of 40 boats will be setting out, as part of the biggest race yet, but Laura-Jayne points out that more people have summited Everest than rowed the Atlantic.

She said: "I think I can speak for us all and say we as soon as we heard about this challenge we wanted to be a part of it.

"Most of us thought it would something we could only dream of doing, but luckily the opportunity arose and we all jumped on the chance to be one of the few people who have had the privilege to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

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"We all love adventure and rowing so this seemed like the perfect combination of both."

Laura-Jayne Pattinson, 26, from West Yorkshire, with Katy Wetz, Frankie Tuck and Millie FrithLaura-Jayne Pattinson, 26, from West Yorkshire, with Katy Wetz, Frankie Tuck and Millie Frith
Laura-Jayne Pattinson, 26, from West Yorkshire, with Katy Wetz, Frankie Tuck and Millie Frith

The crew has decided to stop if they see any amazing wildlife – in 2018 solo rower Kelda Wood was kept company by a whale for seven days. Laura-Jayne is hoping that they will get to experience rowing alongside super-pods of dolphins as others have in past races.

Laura-Jayne met fellow crew member Katy Wetz at the rowing club in their first year at the Royal Veterinary College. The idea of taking river rowing to a new level came up over a couple of bowls of pasta one night in their final year.

They found finance manager Frankie Tuck, 31, and office manager Millie Frith, 26, who were both previous rowers – and both equally “up for it” – later on.

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Conditions aboard are primitive – there's a bucket for a toilet.

An average rower burns in excess of 5,000 calories per day and loses around 8kg during a crossing.

The women are raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity – a UK-based charity driving brain tumor research forward towards a cure.

Katy said: "Brain cancer is the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. The more we’ve spent time learning about this disease and talking to people at The Brain Tumour Charity, the stories continue to come about those who have been affected and the knock-on effect this had had on their lives and the lives of their closest few.

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"There are so many worthwhile causes out there but for us as a team this was the one."

The race was founded in 1997 by Sir Chay Blyth and takes place roughly every two years. A four-man team The Four Oarsmen finished in 29 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes.