Blog from the archive - Rowing against the tide

An all-female Exeter crew was due to take on a challenge in December 2018 and Row against the tide. Here’s a blog we published on November 12, 2018, to highlight the event.


Exeter crew take on a challenge


After decades of using plastics, we are now rowing against the tide when it comes to tackling the pollution this has caused. 

And rowing against the tide is what an all-women crew will be doing in December. 

The all-female team of eco-warriors are set to row in the Row for the Ocean’s transatlantic challenge and the Exeter-based crew will row more than 3000-miles.

It represents more than just a physical challenge - it represents a challenge the whole world needs to partake in.

The crew were planning to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Jason Zeis on Unsplash

Why is it important?

Single-use plastic is the biggest threat to our oceans and beaches, and plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited, tropical islands - nowhere is safe.

Shockingly, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and one million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually. 

Team member Laura Try said: “Plastic is destroying our oceans and its inhabitants; it’s one of the biggest challenges we as a world are facing and we have to act now.

“As a society we appear to be so far removed from what actually happens to our waste, we put it in the bin and it gets taken away. It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality and that needs to change.

“We need to wake up and realise the damage it is doing and has done to our oceans. 

“One of the biggest issues is single-use take-away plastic. We need to introduce a tax at point of sale, which would help to deter consumers and make them think about the impact of their choices,” explained Laura.

“We’ve seen it work for plastic bags, why not other nonsensical items like coffee cups and straws.”

Laura insists not everyone needs to row 3000-miles across the Atlantic in a rowing boat, no more than two-metres wide and seven-metres long to make a difference.

She explained: “Everyone has a part to play in reducing our plastic usage, it can be as simple as investing in your own reusable coffee cup or not using disposable cutlery.” 

Some tips to reduce use of plastics

Although they may be rowing against the tide the Row for the Ocean team has some tips for living with less plastic:

1) Take  your own shopping bag

2) Use a reusable water bottle

3) Take your own coffee cup

4) Use reusable food containers

5) Say no to disposable straws and cutlery

6) Don’t bother with plastic bags for your fruit and vegetables

7) Cook-in and skip the take-away

8) Use glass jars for leftovers

9) Spread the word – tell your friends how to stop using plastic

The Row for the Ocean team start their 3000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from the Canary Islands to Antigua on 12 December 2018, weather permitting.

As an all-women crew of four, Rosalind Holsgrove-West, Kirsty Baker, Kate Salmon and Laura Try will spend more than a month at sea, and they will be rowing against the tide all the way. 

Rowing against the tide - offers of support

More information on the team and the challenge can be found at

To read more posts from Swizzle and Friends, click on here

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