AFTER 58 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes at sea, four Jersey mothers rowed into Antigua on Friday evening as world record breakers.
The Intrepid 232 crew – consisting of Julie Brady, Helene Monpetit, Rosemary Satchwell and Alison Smithurst – completed the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge at about 9pm to cheers and applause from family and friends.
They endured weeks of gruelling conditions which deteriorated so much in the last week that at one point the team feared they may need to be towed in.
But after spending Thursday night on “para-anchor”, the foursome barrelled towards the Caribbean island at a fast rate of knots on Friday.
Hundreds of spectators from all over the world poured out their support via social media for the four Islanders – who have now broken the record for the oldest female crew to row any ocean, having made it to Antigua unassisted.
Speaking just minutes after arriving on dry land following the epic voyage from the Canary Islands, Mrs Smithurst said: “It’s amazing. We are all so relieved. We just didn’t think we would get this moment. The last ten days have been hell.”
She said she was looking forward to relaxing and talking to her family and “actually being able to sit up straight” and “eat proper food”.
She added: “The support that has come through has been absolutely awesome and has kept us going. We have been absolutely astounded, actually. People who we don’t even know have sent us messages.”
Mrs Monpetit, meanwhile, paid tribute to the Aussie Old Salts crew, which were struck by tragedy when a their skipper Alisdair Putt died from a suspected heart attack weeks into the race.
“Can we just give a big shout out to the Aussie Old Salts, please. Massive team hug to them. We thought about them all the way across and we finished it for them.”
The team, who have a combined age of 232 after Mrs Satchwell celebrated her birthday during the race, were presented with world-record certificates during the arrival ceremony.