World Record for Evans

Ocean Rowing

Photography Jane Stockdale
Words Tom Ransley
Published 27.03.22

British sports-lawyer Victoria Evans, 35, sets new Atlantic ocean-rowing record. Her unaided crossing took her 40 days 21 hours and 1 minute, which makes Evans the fastest female to row solo across the Atlantic. The previous record was set in 2018 by fellow Brit Kiko Matthews and stood at 49 days and 7 hours. Evans beat the previous record by nine days and arrived at Port St Charles in Barbados on March 24th having set off from Tenerife in the Canary Islands on February 11th, crossing a staggering 2,559 nautical-miles.

Evans is currently enjoying some well-earned rest and recovery in Barbados – including a tour of the Mount Gay rum distillery. “It feels very surreal. I think it hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s something I’ve been working on for so long and to finish and to have achieved what I set out to do is such a relief.” Evans told ITV News after finishing the race.

While rowing True Blue, her 7-meter boat, Evans faced big waves, bad weather, and sharks. She even celebrated a lonely 35th birthday, at sea! Her lowest moment came at about the halfway mark when a wave knocked out her electrics and she was locked out of her cabin.

Originally from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Evans trained for three-years to prepare for the ocean row, which had to be postponed several times due to Covid. Her voyage has raised significant funds for Women In Sport, a charity aiming break down barriers preventing access to sport for women and girls. Evans still hopes to reach her fundraising target of £50,000.

Stephanie Hilborne Women in Sport CEO said: “Victoria is an inspiration and Women in Sport is massively proud that she’s chosen to fundraise for our charity. How simply incredible is it to smash a World Record by rowing on your own for 41 days across the Atlantic Ocean? How mind-boggling to be at sea with sharks and dolphins for company and to overcome such massive obstacles to reach the finish line.

“This is the culmination of years of dedicated work to build the right boat, the right fitness, and break out of lockdowned Europe even before overcoming huge waves, storms and physical and mental exhaustion. Tori’s battles represent the battles that girls and women face every day to break out of stereotypes, to overcome limiting expectations, to beat back the storm of misogyny and sexual harassment and beat a path for themselves towards the joy and exhilaration of sport.”