We are the North American duo of Lauren “Nini” Champion, and Lisa Roland, a female pairs team competing in the Talisker Atlantic Challenge in December 2022. The Challenge is a 3,000 nm unassisted ocean row beginning in La Gomera, Spain and finishing in English Harbour, Antigua. Our campaign proceeds will go towards the creation of a grant to fund youth in the foster care system to pursue careers in the maritime sector, and truly change lives! Visit our campaign website for more detail about our mission!
We are seeking sponsorships to help with the cost of training courses, vessel purchase and transportation, race fees and kit. For any inquiries related to corporate sponsors, please contact us on Facebook, email or our campaign website www.oceangrown.co
So what has motivated us to row an ocean? Well first, we’re a couple of ladies who are seriously passionate about the sea. Nini works as a rigging technician , and Lisa is the captain of a sailing yacht. Combined, we’ve sailed over 60,000 nautical miles, and have both been drawn to the next epic challenge of ocean rowing. We are both so thrilled, more than a little terrified, and incredibly determined to endure the physical demands, build the mental strength to persevere, and survive the elements and take on the Atlantic Challenge!
On a personal level, we both have our own motivation for taking on such a challenge. We have each written a little bit about what brought us here:
Through my work in the yachting industry I became aware of the Talisker Atlantic Challenge, and felt an immediate connection. I know that kind of perseverance, taking on something that seems insurmountable. I know what it’s like to push relentlessly though struggle and hardship, even though you can’t yet see the other side. When I met Nini, and we shared the same ambition, I knew it was ON!
I am rowing to raise awareness for the struggles faced by at risk youth. No child should ever have to worry where they are going to lay their head, or where their next meal will come from. The HomeBridge Youth Society is a Halifax, Canada based organization which provides so much more than a place for a youth to rest their heads, and do incredible work.
4 years ago, I had my first introduction with the Talisker Whiskey challenge in Antigua. The announcement of the first rowers approaching shore echoed in exchanges throughout the day.
It was the first time I had ever heard of the event. The following evening, a warm welcome of cheering and horns blasting rippled throughout the crowd awaiting the group of four rowers approaching the pier.
The following winter seasons, I found myself in Antigua, working aboard sailing yachts. With the return of the Caribbean season, came the yearly competitors that would trickle in throughout the early months of the year.
I have had the pleasure of speaking to some of those that have taken on the challenge, and recall believing that I am capable. Over one year ago, I decided I wanted to try the row myself. Then, I found a partner who arrived to the same thought in her own way.
For me, I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, with the Chesapeake Bay serving as my playground to water-sports such as sailing and wakeboarding. My brother, being only a year and a half older, has always been a major influence for me, and it is no surprise that I followed his footsteps into the professional sailing industry. Throughout my journey, I reached a turning point.
There were sensations of fear and loneliness that began to surface in my traveling, with only short and sweet visits to this place that I once would never haver questioned to call my home. I learned that confronting the opportunities which instill a sensation of fear within me leads to changes and self-growth. In other words, if I do not do that which scares me, I will not progress. There is something so empowering, about breaking beyond the boundaries and constraints of fear, and in that same breath, recognizing, that I can do whatever I set my mind to.
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