The HMS Oardacious Valkyries - China Fleet Country Club
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The HMS Oardacious Valkyries

HMS Oardacious are proud to announce the first ever serving military women’s team to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

The HMS Oardacious Valkyries will take on the ‘World’s Toughest Row’ – an epic 3,000-mile rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean.

On 12 December 2024, for the first time in history, a serving military women’s crew known as the “HMS Oardacious Valkyries”, will take on the World’s Toughest Row.

This team of Oarsome women will row in shifts of 2 hours on 2 hours off, all day every day for over a month covering 3,000 miles from San Sebastien de la Gomera (Canary Islands) to Nelson’s Dockyard (Antigua), whilst racing an Army team for the title of fastest women’s military team to row across any ocean.

The team will be dealing with salt sores, blisters, sleep deprivation, sea sickness, 40ft waves and scorching tropical sunshine whilst still pushing beyond perceived limitations and focus on winning.

As an unsupported crossing, their boat ‘Captain Jim’ is completely self-sufficient, stocked with food to last up to 55 days and equipped with solar panels providing power to two batteries which supply all the essential equipment (including the all-important water maker – a mini reverse osmosis plant which makes fresh water from seawater).

One of the HMS Oardacious key objectives is to raise awareness and discuss the importance of recognising mental health and wellbeing in ourselves, our families, colleagues, and all those we meet. Working with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity the campaign has currently helped raise over £200,000 for Submariners and their families and this year we are looking to increase efforts wider across communities in the UK.

Through the HMS Oardacious outreach programme, the team will be supporting and educating young people including women on the opportunities available in STEM careers across defence and wider organisations and the importance of personal belief and mindset in achieving their goals.

The crew consists of:

· Izzy Rawlinson (Skipper) –Marine Engineering Submariner

· Ali Aindow – Mine Clearance Diver

· Aaby Aldridge – Survival Equipment Technician

· Lily-Mae Fisher – Pilot

· Nic Hall – Warfare

· Team Manager: Alex Kelley – Merlin Helicopter Observer

Izzy has been involved within the HMS Oardacious Campaign since 2022 and was thrilled when asked to be the skipper for this historic first all-women crew:

‘This opportunity allows the chance to promote women in STEM and advocate for mental health, wellness and resilience. We hope to portray ordinary women doing something extraordinary and to showcase that as hard as something could be, tomorrow is a different day. If I could make someone’s life slightly better by them looking at me and thinking, if she can do it then I can get definitely out of this, I can definitely make it through to the other side, then that’s good enough for me.’

Celebration of Duty – Behind ‘Leading the Way’

As a collective, they have represented the Fleet Air Arm, Surface Fleet and Submarine Service on countless operations both in the UK and overseas and aim to promote and encourage young women into traditionally underrepresented roles, both in and out of the Royal Navy.

The team know that their mental resilience feeds their physical endurance and look forward to learning what it is that makes teams adapt and thrive.

All based at different locations across the UK, for the next 9 months the team will for the most part be training independently and getting as many expeditions on Captain Jim as they can preparing to take on the extreme and unpredictable Atlantic Ocean.

You can follow the teams progress via their social media channel: @hmsoardacious and www.hmsoardacious.com

To support the team you can also donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hmsordaciousvalkyries

Every penny raised will help support submariners and their families with Mental Health and wellbeing initiatives.

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