International Womens Day 2016

As an all female team, who have just set 2 world records, achieving world firsts ahead of the boys, International Womens Day certainly seemed more poignant to us this year!

We are a team of ordinary women that went beyond having just a dream, we made that dream a reality and achieved what many thought would be impossible, what many thought we would fail at. It didn’t come without a few waves of ups and downs and set backs, but collectively, as a team, we stuck to our values, remained resilient in situations we faced and drew on perseverance when it mattered, which proved many people wrong about us. We weren’t just a bunch of girls in a pink boat that would fall out with each other or turn back and quit at the slightest difficulty, we were a team of women that had prepared and planned our row over 3 years previously, had tested ourselves mentally and physically in our preparations and left no stone unturned that we could have planned for. We drew strength from one another, cared for each other when someone was down, drew on humour to keep us going and allowed emotions to be shared and free flowing so that vulnerabilities were not hidden. We coped well with change and adapted quickly through the process as each leg we had a new team member. These are qualities that most women share, these are qualities that are fundamental to a dynamic and functional team, these are qualities that resonate effectiveness in any team setting, whether that’s business or sport. With equality in business still far from showing parity and in sport the exposure for women in sport is still lagging behind, hopefully days like International Womens Day, can express and share the amazing work women out there do and what great benefits a female angle can bring to a team to create diversity.

We have been and still are in ‘oar’ (sorry couldn’t help it!) of so many women that have helped and inspired us to achieve our goal, so here’s just a few, that on this International Womens Day (IWD)we wanted to celebrate…..sarah moshman

Our very own Sarah Moshman. The queen behind the camera who has already won an Emmy for a previous documentary, who led the Empowerment Project to celebrate women who are making waves in science, the military, media etc. and who is showing how it’s done as a female Director in an industry dominated by males.


Kate Philp, who was a Royal Artillary Officer who became a below knee amputee when she was injured in Afghanistan in 2008. Kate would have fought in the minority to be a female on the frontline, she would have fought to rehabilitate mentally and physically after she was injured and she has continued to fight in making sure she has a new life journey to success, which is reflected in her achievement when she reached the South Pole with Walking With The Wounded. She’s a true inspiration that whenever I started to moan about pain when I was out in the ocean, she made me stop and push on.

patricia & faily

Patricia Elouahabi, loving wife to Rashid and mother to Yasin, who died just 6 months after Yasin was born in her fight against Breast Cancer.


Chrissie Wellington, one of my heroes who I am now fortunate enough to call a friend. Chrissie is a 4 times World Ironman Champion, her timings would come in the top 5 of the mens, she has set up Park Run and campaigned for the Womens Tour Du France. Chrissie fights for what she believes in, she’s dedicated and passionate and does everything with a smile!


Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment, on the board of 30% club, has 9 children and is a loving wife. This is a woman that epitomizes ‘you CAN’.

sarah outen

Sarah Outen, has just completed her around the world London 2 London challenge via, kayak, bike and rowing boat, all whilst sharing her journey, inspiring school kids along the way and continuing to look forwards to see how she can create environments for people to say yes to more opportunities outside the norm.


Julia Immonen, a beautiful woman inside and out, who has stirred change through her campaigns to stop human trafficking. Her efforts have fed through the channels of sport by setting up Sport For Freedom and Julia herself has completed rowing the Atlantic as a team and numerous cycling multi-day events.

england womns rugby

England Womens Rugby team, having won the World Cup in 2014 for the first time in 20 years, this is one of many all female teams in sport that showed us how it’s done.


There are many more women that I could continue to talk about that inspired us as a team (my mum being one of them  for me personally!), but there isn’t enough room on this page! A day like IWD gives us a chance to celebrate all those women that are stepping out their comfort zones to facilitate change, to help improve equality in the work place and inspire the next generation to believe they CAN. Thank you to all those women that inspired us and helped us to believe that we can.









  1. You need to collaborate with all these women and more for a book or film or TV show…… just something. As a father of a 12 year old girl (and 3 year old for that matter) I want these stories to be more mainstream to inspire and show that anything is possible and they are not restricted by gender. We do our best as parents, but when the media is full of stories of young women being famous for tweeting naked pictures or who they are dating etc it is hard to swim against the tide. There was talk a while ago amongst Sally Kettle, Rachel Smith, Margaret Bowling and Angela Madsen about a book of the women who have rowed oceans, but why stop there. I ask you now and offer my help to ride the crest of this wave (no pun intended, although I’m rather pleased with it!!) and get your stories out there.

  2. JG says:

    It is a source of surprise for me that the celebration of women internationally is only given one measly day. I believe that it should be at least a full week, if not a month.
    Throughout history there have been thousands of women who have become famous – many changing the course of history itself.
    An even larger number of women have held crucial positions in business, in the Services and in society completely unsung . The list is impossibly long for inclusion in a mere blog.
    It starts with the Amazon warriors. Yes they did exist – in what is now Southern Europe, and goes right through history including such legends as Boadicea, Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, Queens Elizabeth I, II and Victoria, Edith Cavell, Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher, Aung San Suu Kyi, Benazir Bhutto, and last but by no means least the Kurdish female Peshmerga Battalion. It goes on to now where lone rowers and crews of women are breaking world records and women are taking Arctic challenges.
    I think a world run by women would be a better place to live in. Wars would be a thing of the past. Nurture and protect would become the theme for life.
    That is why I think one day is not enough to honour and celebrate female achievement
    Conversely people might say that men should also be celebrated. On the contrary – I believe there should be a period of introspective reflection upon the disastrous effect of male intervention.
    57,000 men killed and injured in ONE day on the Somme battlefield on 1st July 100 years ago says it all for me.

  3. Jim Andrews says:

    I fully support “International Women’s day 2016”. I feel all people should be congratulated for their individual and group achievements, each, a special, dedicated, strong and focussed person. None more so than yourselves. I would not like a world run by a gender specific, as that is exactly what creates the current and previous situations. Every individual is capable of great things relevant to ability. Likewise, every individual is capable of calamitous error or failure, both, irrespective of gender. The evolution of our species is gradually, but far too slowly, ironing out the wrinkles of “isms”. I suppose that’s what evolution is?
    Congratulation all achievers, to all who try to achieve a better, safer, kinder,more tolerant world. Stay safe. XX

Leave A Reply