The Female Field: Jasmine Harrison, 21, becomes youngest woman to row an ocean

The Female Field

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Jasmine Harrison, 21, now holds the world record as the youngest female to ever row solo across an ocean. She finished her 3,000-mile trek across the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, February 20 after 70 days, 3 hours and 48 minutes at sea.

The part-time teacher and bartender from North Yorkshire, UK, started her journey from the shore of La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12 and arrived at Paradise Island of Antigua, West Indies on February 20.

Harrison is a self-described adventurer. She said she would have rowed across the ocean years ago if she had known about the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. When she first hopped in the boat for the challenge to begin, she had never rowed before.

“It was adventure more than sport,” she said.

But she had done water sports before with 1,500 miles of sailing experience, but that didn’t keep her from capsizing twice.

Harrison just happened to be in Antigua in 2018 while teaching swimming and volunteering with Hurrican Maria relief efforts when she saw the finishers make it to shore. She knew immediately that she wanted to do it too.

Harrison said her standard day consisted of rowing at least 12 hours, eating as much as she could and sleeping as much as she could.

“As soon as I’d drop my oars, I’d start to go backwards,” she said.

To do anything for that long consistently, takes a tremendous amount of mental toughness. A saying was written on Harrison’s boat by the previous owner that read, “be stronger than your excuse.” Harrison said she spent a large amount of time thinking about this phrase with such a positive outlook.

“I don’t have an excuse,” she said.

Harrison also supported two charities as she was rowing. She supported Shelterbox which helps those who have been affected by disaster and conflict find housing. She also supported Blue Marine Foundation which is dedicated to restoring the ocean to health and stop overfishing.

“I think it’s very appropriate considering the beauty that I saw in our ocean,” she said.

She set up a GoFundMe page for supporters to donate to. She will split the money in half between the two organizations. So far, she has raised over £18,000.

Click here to donate.

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