London-based lawyer, 35-year-old Victoria Evans, rowed into Barbados on Thursday morning around 5:00 a.m. in what could be the new Guinness World Record for rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Beginning her journey from Tenerife, Canary Islands on February 11 this year, Ms. Evan took 40 days and 19 hours to complete her journey to Barbados. The current Guinness World Record for this title is 49 days, 7 hours and 15 minutes.
During a media welcome hosted by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Chief Executive Officer, Jens Thraenhart, expressed thanks to Victoria and also Ireland’s Dr. Karen Weekes for choosing Barbados as their endpoint as they rowed across the Atlantic Ocean.
“I think this is obviously a great honour for us to be that destination that welcomes you. On the other hand, it’s great also, for us to welcome you as an ambassador of sports tourism to Barbados because we want to inspire the world to look at Barbados, not just as a beach destination, but also as a destination that on one hand is more than just beaches and has other experiences; but also a destination that can inspire young people to shape [and] change the world and make a difference,” Mr. Thraenhart stated.
Also speaking on the significance of what it meant for Barbados, was BTMI’s, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Corey Garrett who explained that events like this provided Barbados with the opportunity to bond with the communities from which the individuals came; it also showcased Barbados as that destination that could host world-class or even Guinness world-breaking events.
Thanking Barbados for what she described as a warm and “absolutely incredible” welcome, the lady of the moment , Victoria Evans expressed that it would have taken her longer to row had she not been coming to such a “nice place…it’s an easy place to row to”.
Speaking about how it felt to accomplish her goal, Ms. Evans stated: “I felt very relieved, I think that’s been the overriding feeling since I finished, it’s just really good, I’ve achieved my goal [and] that four years of hard work is complete.
“I think when I set off on this process and decided to take on the challenge of this magnitude, I could never have imagined what it would turn into as a project and how many people wanted to help and be involved. And you couldn’t take on something like this without the kind-hearted nature of people and their donation, their time, their resources or their support. I might be a solo rower but these events are very much built on the shoulders of so many and you are a part of that,” Ms. Evans stated.
In addition, she explained that as part of her quest she partnered with the UK Charity: Women In Sports to change mind-sets about women and girls in sports and how sports have the power to change lives.
“I wanted to do a big challenge to raise awareness about the need for more gender equality in sport and show women and girls anything is possible.”
While awaiting confirmation that she has broken the current Guinness World Record, Ms. Evans will be spending a few days here on the island and said she “can’t wait” to explore the island.