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Inspirational athlete Linda Blakely prepares to row across the Atlantic Ocean in support of children’s charity

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Linda hopes to complete the fastest solo crossing for a female

Businesswoman, athlete, ironman champion, long-distance triathlete and Everest summiteer, Linda Blakely, is preparing to embark on her solo row from Gran Canaria to Barbados, crossing 3,000 miles of ocean on her 20-foot boat named Ulster Warrior. She is aiming to surpass the current solo crossing record, for a woman, of 40 days and 19 hours.

Linda, who is originally from Lurgan in Northern Ireland, lives in London and runs three residential homes that provide family-centred support for young people with emotional and behavioural issues and learning disabilities. As she prepares to embark on this journey, she is raising awareness and funds for Action Medical Research's campaign to transform the lives of children and families impacted by rare diseases.

Linda will celebrate her 50th birthday during her crossing and is determined to prove that menopausal woman can achieve great things in sport. This gruelling challenge will test her physical and mental limits; she will battle sleep deprivation, salt sores, and physical extremes as she aims to break the current world record.

Image of Linda on her boat Ulster Warrior

Linda’s row is supported by generous sponsors Cazenove Capital, Christ’s Hospital, Schroders Wealth Management, Rotary Club of Wickford, Purbeck Insurance, Markel and Arch Resourcing.  

Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. Action has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952, including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.

The charity is driving forward children’s research into conditions including epilepsy, prematurity, meningitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions. Learn more about Action’s work here:

For those inspired by Linda's story and wishing to support her challenge, she can be followed on Instagram @blakely.linda and through her JustGiving page:

Images of Linda and her boat Ulster Warrior are available to download here:

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