Elsa Hammond - Great Pacific Race solo rower
3rd July 2014
My name is Elsa Hammond. Throughout the summer of 2014 I am taking part in the first ever Great Pacific Race, and whilst initially was making for Hawaii from California, tides, weather and a whole host of other challenges mean I'm now heading for Mexico.
This will be a physical, mental and emotional challenge that will push me to the limit, facing winds, waves, storms and over three months of complete isolation.
I have always loved a good adventure, and in the past I have unicycled across England, trekked through Borneo and sailed in the South Pacific, but this will be my toughest and most exciting adventure yet.
In fact, more people have walked on the moon than women have rowed an ocean solo!
In total I will row a distance of over 2,400 miles, and I am dedicating each and every mile to inspirational women. Throughout my row, I will be asking people to dedicate a mile to a woman of their choice, and inviting them to join me in celebration of them.
I am raising funding and awareness for three amazing charities, supporting causes that I am very passionate about.
The GREAT Initiative work towards a world where men and women have an equal chance to thrive. They believe the best way to fight gender inequality is by working with both men and women, for example through their Great Men Value Women campaign, which works with teenage boys in schools to tackle gender stereotypes.
The other two are environmental charities who work to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans. Plastic Oceans aims to significantly reduce plastic pollution in the environment by supporting and funding targeted solutions, and Global Oceans increases awareness of marine conservation issues through education and outreach programmes.
This is very relevant to my row, as I will be rowing past the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the most notorious of marine plastic pollution in the world, which has increased in volume by over 100 times in the last 40 years.
I feel very fortunate to be able to work alongside Pukka, which prides itself on sourcing only fairly trade and sustainable products and developing long-term relationships with farmers.
I have been a fan of Pukka for many years, especially their wide range of teas! My personal favourite is Night Time tea – incredibly relaxing and perfect for unwinding and relaxing after a long day.
Pukka have been incredibly helpful with all of their guidance and support in preparation for the row, providing me with invaluable nutritional guidance and supplements that were specific to my needs.
They have also supported me with Organic Ghee and Organic Coconut Oil during my training, to promote my appetite and help me gain weight before my three-month voyage – important, as every ocean rower I’ve spoken with has lost significant body mass during their rows.
Thank you to Seb and all at Pukka for their incredible support - you’ve been, and continue to be, amazing.
Editors Note: After battling incredible seas and winds and rowing more individual miles than any other competitor, Elsa was forced out of the race. We'll get the full story of her adventure in the next issue of Pukka Planet. It's likely to be quite a story.