Monmouthshire Rowers Achieve Oar-Inspiring Feat by Completing Pacific Crossing

Monmouthshire Rowers Achieve Oar-Inspiring Feat by Completing Pacific Crossing

Aug 12, 2023

Triumphant Completion: Monmouth Rowers Elaine Theaker and Huw Carden Conquer 2,800-Mile Pacific Row

Elaine Theaker from Monmouth Rowing Club and Huw Carden, an RAF veteran from Dingestow, achieved a remarkable feat as they successfully completed their grueling 2,800-mile row across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. Their Team FlyinFish crew illuminated the sky with flares as they entered Hanalei Bay on August 2, celebrating their achievement in a joyous manner.

Elaine, a retired solicitor who marked her 60th birthday during the exhausting journey, and 63-year-old Huw made their way into the record books alongside their three boat mates. Having previously rowed across the Atlantic as part of a three-woman crew five years ago, Elaine, a mother of one, holds the distinction of being the oldest woman to have rowed across both oceans. Meanwhile, Huw, who was new to ocean rowing before this endeavor, earned the title of the oldest man to complete the Pacific crossing.

Notably, their team also secured a record for a five-person crew, a remarkable achievement given the limited space aboard their 28-foot Voyager boat.

The duo from Monmouthshire, joined by their crew members from Hampshire, Devon, and Cornwall, took some well-deserved days of rest on dry land before preparing to head home. Their journey encountered a setback early on when they lost a rudder, leaving them stranded on a para anchor amidst tumultuous waves for five days. Despite this challenge and falling behind the rest of the fleet, Huw’s courageous act of fitting a replacement rudder while in the water allowed them to continue. Their determination drove them forward, leading to a triumphant finish captured in scenes of jubilation on the event’s livestream footage.

Elaine, who celebrated her milestone birthday with dehydrated fish in parsley sauce instead of a traditional cake, shared her perspective with ITV upon reaching land, saying, “Four days into the row I had my 60th birthday. I thought, should I book a cruise? No. Should I row? Yes, why not.”


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