On December 12, 2024, Team "Ocean Empower" — comprised of Deborah, Fiona, Dawn and Kerry — will set out on an extraordinary mission known as "The World's Toughest Row." Spanning 3,000 unsupported miles across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera to Antigua, this journey is more than a physical challenge; it's a deeply personal endeavor. Fueled by the memory of three family members lost to MND, the triumphant survival of cancer within the team, strong military connections, and the heartbreaking loss of a son's friend in the Ukrainian war, these ladies are rowing with purpose. Their story is a testament to resilience, determination, and a desire to empower others through a shared connection with both triumph and loss.
Ready, Set, Row: Time Left to Prepare
4 Women, 3000 Miles, 1 Incredible Challenge...
Welcome to our website, our aim is to inspire and empower women to push their limits and achieve great things. Our team is taking part in the Worlds Toughest Row 2024 Atlantic, an incredibly tough and gruelling race that will see us rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. We believe that with determination, teamwork, and a little help from our sponsors, we can succeed in this challenge and show the world what women are capable of. By supporting our team, you will be helping us to break down boundaries and inspire women everywhere to achieve their goals. Whether you choose to donate or become a sponsor, your contribution will make a huge difference to our success. Join us on this incredible journey and be a part of something truly special.
Why We're doing it...
Ran by the Leeds Hospitals Charity (charity number 1170369), the Rob Burrows MND Centre Appeal is a charity dedicated to fighting Motor Neuron Disease. It was founded by former rugby league player Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2019. The association aims to raise awareness of the disease, fund research into treatments and a cure, and provide support for those affected by it.
The Cancer Awareness Trust, initiated by Professor Sir Chris Evans and Dr Rajan Jethwa, seeks to revolutionise the accessibility of trusted cancer-related information. The trust aims to centralise expert advice and guidance for all stages of the cancer journey, fostering an empowered community and enhancing the lives of those affected by cancer globally.
Meet The Team
Meet the incredible team of women who are taking on the challenge of a lifetime. These brave and determined athletes are pushing themselves to the limit to compete in the gruelling Atlantic Row '24, a race that will test their physical and mental strength to the extreme. Get to know the inspiring women behind this incredible journey, learn about their personal stories, and discover what motivates them to take on such an incredible challenge.
Deborah is a single mum, a successful businesswoman, and an adventurer with a heart of gold. Her biggest motivation in life is her son who serves in the British Army. Along with her partner and her beloved dogs, Deborah throws herself into some of the craziest things Like rowing across the Atlantic.
Never one to sit still, adventure and challenge is what drives me, so crossing an Ocean in a tiny boat somehow appealed. I’m a keen amateur boxer with 10 fights under my belt and a string of CrossFit and endurance events….but this is the big one. Supported by my 3 teenage daughters and husband Eddie I’m ready for anything!
I am Dawn Smith BEM and am the skipper of this expedition. I am a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Examiner and have worked commercially on the water for 20 years as a police boat skipper so am no stranger to the water.
I have rowed the Atlantic solo in 2019, the Atlantic again as co-skipper of a 12-person rowing boat (Roxy) in 2022, Skipper of Roxy in 2023, Skipper of a Female Trio across the Pacific breaking the speed record by 20 days, and several UK coastal rowing expeditions. This will be my 5th Ocean crossing in an Ocean rowing boat.
I took early retirement from the Police in May 2022 to follow my Dream of Rowing Oceans and setting up my own Sea School Business predominantly teaching people who want to row an Ocean.
Kerry loves a challenge and adventure. Notably, she has swam the English Channel, climbed in the Himalayas, rode across the Gobi in Mongolia on horseback, and cycled from London to Paris in less than 24 hours.
Kerry is married to Alex, is a mother of three and runs her own public health business. She is passionate about helping people who are struggling with their mental and physical health.
Rowing the Atlantic will be a hugely challenging and exciting adventure, however Kerry would love to use this experience, not only to fulfil her own goal, but also to help raise awareness of those people who really need public health support in the local community.
Stay up-to-date with the latest news and updates from our team as they prepare for the Atlantic Row '24 challenge. From training updates to fundraising milestones and more, this section is your go-to source for all the latest information on our team's journey to the starting line. Follow along and join us on this incredible adventure!
Check Out The Action
Keep up with our team's journey as we embark on this thrilling Atlantic challenge. Our updates will capture our passion, determination, and boldness in real-time. From the rigorous training days to the adrenaline-filled moments on the open seas, we're excited to share each step of this unforgettable adventure with you. Stay tuned and follow along as we transform our incredible dream into reality.