An investor relations director at Tritax is one of four intrepid women, who have formed ‘The Mothership’, a crew that will take part in this year’s gruelling Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge (TWAC).
Jo Blackshaw (48), along with executive coach Pippa Edwards (43); freelance journalist Lebby Eyres (50) and Felicity Ashley (45) a marketing director at British Gas, will form one of 36 crews who will attempt to row 3,000 miles from La Gomera in the Canaries leaving on the 12th of December to the English Harbour in Antigua.
Sponsored by Tritax Big Box REIT plc, the UK’s largest investor and developer in prime logistics real estate, the team will be crossing the Atlantic in a 29ft boat, named Mrs. Nelson. The four Mothers share a passion for sport and adventurous challenges and are united by a desire to test themselves mentally and physically and to inspire their children. The crossing will be sustainable with solar panels providing the only source of power generation on board.
If successful, The Mothership will be the second oldest female four ever to cross the Atlantic and they plan to remain competitive with all of their younger rivals. The team will join an elite group of women; since records began 198 all-female rowing crews have attempted to cross an ocean with only 75 teams successful. In total only 229 women have rowed one ocean or more.
The crew is raising funds for: Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, which provides expert and compassionate palliative care for over 350 children who have life-limiting or life-threatening conditions; Felix Fund, which supports the well-being of individuals within the explosive ordnance disposal and search community across all British military and Women in Sport which empowers women and girls through sport.
Speaking about the challenge the crew faces, Colin Godfrey, CEO Fund Management for Tritax Big Box REIT plc, commented: “This is a monumental challenge that Jo and the team are embarking on and one that we whole-heartedly support.
“Signing up for the event requires huge commitment from this crew of working mothers even before they get to the start, having already undertaken significant training and technical preparations. We felt there was a lot of synergy between the values of both Tritax and The Mothership. Like The Mothership, Tritax is a small team of ambitious, highly driven and capable individuals working collaboratively to achieve common goals. Tritax Big Box is committed to creating a positive impact for people and places through all of our activities and similarly the crew is united by their determination inspire others and to support causes which provide women and children with new experiences and opportunities.
“We wish The Mothership every success in completing the challenge and raising much needed funds for these charities.”
Jo Blackshaw continued: “This challenge will be as much mental as physical. To put it into perspective, more people have climbed Everest than have rowed an ocean! The first all-female crew completed the crossing in 67 days, so we are hoping to beat that record. There are inevitably going to be obstacles to overcome on the way and, with 11 children between us all, being away from our families over Christmas will be particularly tough. That said, we are an extremely tight team and together we are relishing the prospect of completing this challenge, raising money for our chosen charities, inspiring others and making all who have supported us very proud.”
The Mothership are hoping to reach Antigua within 45 days.
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Kate Healey / Clare Coyne
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