Poster Girls #9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14…Six Very Able Seawomen
What is it about women in boats?
Ever since Claire Francis captured my imagination as a freckled faced flare wearing 6 year old in the ‘70s, tales of women all at sea have always brought out my inner Titty Walker.
Ellen MaCarthur and Tracy Edwards followed Francis in the decades to come, but none have made such an impression on me as the fab six of the Pacific, the coxless crew, who in 2016 rowed over 8400 miles from America to Australia in a teeny tiny rowing boat called Doris.
Yes I know I am terribly late to this particular boat party, having only last week accidentally stumbled across a twitter recommendation of the Netflix documentary, ‘Losing Sight of Shore’ that tells the story of their epic adventure (was I actually sleeping in 2016 when their story hit the news headlines…?!), but I was totally swept away by their collective courage, strength and spirit and order everyone to watch this documentary immediately, with your daughters, if you have them. This is no ‘Free Solo’ narrative (milking the subjects’ difficult childhoods, romantic conflicts and macho ambitions), it is instead a beautifully told tale of a quietly determined gang of ordinary woman who wanted to conquer the Pacific, and did bravely, with magnificently calloused hands, and against the most beautiful oceanic backdrops I have ever seen.
Laura Penhaul, Emma Mitchell, Natalia Cohen, Isabel Burnham, Lizanne Van Vuuran, Meg Dyos, we salute you!