Fellows and Sons | Established 1876

Whale of a Time Row


As part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, two friends are rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for three chosen charities. Lauren Woodwiss and Jemma Rix set sail on December 12th and the Whale of a Time row is expected to last between 50 and 90 days. Fellows Auctioneers became and sponsor for the row, as we entered their corporate raffle – and our logo can be seen placed on the middle of the boat below.

whale of a time

Credit – Whale of a Time

We spoke to Gemma and Lauren before the row, to get an idea of how their preparation has been going.

1. Firstly, I wondered what made you want to complete the row initially.
Initially it was a silly idea after a few too many ciders. However, once the idea was planted, it kept popping up and we knew we had to do it.

2. How long has your preparation been for the row?
We entered the race in December 2017. Since then its been a huge to do list to get us to the start line: Learn how to row, find a boat, first aid courses, navigation courses, insurance, making our food, fundraising ….the list goes on.

3. How intense has your preparation been?
It has been pretty full on. Although intense, not so much the physical training side of things, the logistics and admin to get us to the start line has been constant and like taking on a side job on top of our 9 to 5s. We definitely underestimated the amount of work
to get us to the start line, but are not complaining for a second! Hopefully it will be 100% worth it!

4. How long do you think it will take you to complete the row?
That’s the big question! The current world record for a female pair stands at 50 days 7 hours. We will be over the moon to simply get there in once piece and still be smiling and talking. However 49 days would be ideal, but we’ll take anything.

5. I wondered what the toughest aspect of completing the row is.
We think definitely this is going to be a mental challenge. To be honest we will be extremely bored, fatigued, and scared to name a few emotions. In time we will need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Our friendship will help each other through this on some really tough days.

6. What kind of food will you be eating during the row?
We made all our dehydrated meals ourselves using as much surplus products as possible in support on one of our charities: FareShare.
A typical daily menu includes:
Breakfast: Strawberry and coconut granola
Lunch: Chilli Con Carne
Dinner: Chicken Thai Noodles
We then also have a range of snacks to eat throughout the day including chocolate bars, crisps, olives, biltong, trailmixes, protein shakes.
We’re sure we wont go hungry! We will be trying to consume near 5000 calories per day.

7. What are your expectations?
That’s the beauty of the challenge, it is the complete unknown. We can expect high seas, sea sickness,bored and fatigue…..but really we have no idea until we get going and that’s the mental scary bit.

8. How has the reaction been towards the row, have you received a lot of support?
We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from friends, family, businesses and strangers a-like. It really wouldn’t have been possible without such support.
Thank you very much to Fellows for coming on-board and joining our corporate raffle. We are very proud to have you logo on our little boat and come across the pond with us. Thank you so much.