All-Women Rowing Team Creates World Record By Rowing From California To Hawaii


Libby Costello, Sophia Denison Johnston, Brooke Downes and Adrienne Smith of the Lat 35 women’s team rowed more than 2,400 nautical miles in 34 days, 14 hours and 11 minutes, creating new world record

Women, they always like to take challenges and make the impossible possible. This has been proved yet another time by four female rowers who broke the record and made history on Tuesday morning when they arrived in Hawaii after rowing more than 2,400 nautical miles from California to Hawaii. 

Brooke Downes, Libby Costello, Sophia Denison-Johnston and Adrienne Smith – four women of the Lat35 team completed the Great Pacific Race in just 34 days, 14 hours and 11 minutes, making the new world record. 

To achieve this feat, the four women, Brooke Downes, an Olympic hopeful; Adrienne Smith, an Ironman triathlete, yoga instructor, and a mother; Libby Costello, a UCLA rowing alum; and Sophia Denison-Johnston, another Olympic hopeful row in continuous two-hour shifts, and haven’t slept for more than 90 minutes at a time in over a month. All of them were strapped in at all times with a harness. For training, they practised tying knots in ice water as a life preservation skill, packed a million calories on the boat and mostly ate dehydrated meals that they boil on board. Besides, they’ve been using biodegradable tampons, in part because pads can cause painful sores. They communicate with people on land via satellite, which is how the Instagram account of lat35 stays updated. 

In the vast nothingness of the ocean, despite hazardous weather, sleep deprivation, seasickness, salt sores, and other expected challenges their spirit remained undaunted. “The ocean is wild, just like us…and we keep rolling with what she gives us with full hearts and lots of laughter,” Adrienne Smith wrote in one of her final Instagram posts before the team made land. She also thanked the team’s supporters online, adding, “We read your messages as a group and are in awe of how our decision to be in the action of living big is inspiring you and your families.”

Not only did these women break the world record, the Lat 35 used their journey to raise awareness and funds for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and they have successfully surpassed their goal of collecting $10,000. 

  • Staff Reporter

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