Four women have made history after rowing across the Pacific Ocean, from California to Hawaii, in record time. The women of the Lat35 team made it in 34 days, 14 hours and 11 minutes, beating the previous women’s record by one day and 12 hours.
The record-breaking rowers — Olympic hopefuls Brooke Downes and Sophia Denison-Johnston; mom, yoga instructor and Ironman triathlete Adrienne Smith; and UCLA rowing alumni Libby Costello — were participants in the Great Pacific Race as part of team Lat35. Race participants spanned 2,400 nautical miles of ocean rowing from San Francisco to Hawaii.
Lat35, led by world record-breaking ocean rower and leadership coach Jason Caldwell, shared updates on social media throughout the race, including several celebratory posts when the team made land in Honolulu earlier this week.
“The thoughts and feelings that these four must have experienced yesterday evening are perhaps not possible to articulate in any relatable way,” Latitude 35 wrote in a Facebook post. “Happiness, bewilderment, nervousness, excitement, and pure joy…are just some of the feelings that they may have been dealing with all at once. But the love that they felt, both from people they know and their followers…was very very real.”
The women, who had never rowed in the deep ocean before, rowed continuously in two-hour shifts using a bucket as a bathroom and sleeping no more than 90 minutes at a time for more than a month. They survived on prepackaged meals and endured seasickness, severe winds and turbulent seas. But through it all, they say they’re just like everyone else.
“I think something that I want people to take away is that these women are so incredible but we’re not superhuman,” Downes told “Good Morning America.” “There’s nothing that we were born with that makes us any different than anybody else.”
The rowing team also aimed to raise money and awareness for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. To date, their fundraiser has gathered more than $12,000.