Emily Blagden

Surveyor & Record-Breaking Rower


I co-founded and skippered the first all-female team of four to row 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean, from California to Hawaii, in August 2014. We raised £10,000 for WaterAid and Hope and Homes for Children and carried out research on micro-plastics present in the ocean.
The journey lasted 50 days and involved continuously rowing on a two hours on, two hours off basis. Self-supported, we carried our own food and equipment and desalinated seawater to produce fresh drinking water. Despite missing the start of the race due to our boat being stuck in a shipping container, we were one of seven teams to complete the race, out of an initial fleet of 13 boats. During the race, we had to deal with multiple equipment breakages, 20 foot waves and were chased by Hurricane Iselle to the finish line.
As a surveyor working full-time in London, I had never rowed before signing up to the race. I had 15 months to put a team together, find a boat, learn how to row, chase sponsors and take courses in navigation.
I would like to encourage students to take up sport, get outdoors and become more aware of our impact on the ocean and environment. Additionally, I would like to motivate and inspire children to push past their own boundaries and increase their confidence.

Please visit http://www.boatylicious.org for more details about the Pacific Ocean crossing.

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