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Solo Irish Rower Karen Weekes is Halfway Across the Atlantic

21st January 2022
Dr Karen Weekes speaks to Lorna Siggins on her solo row across the Atlantic
Dr Karen Weekes speaks to Lorna Siggins on her solo row across the Atlantic below

A spectacular meteor shower, a close encounter with a hammerhead shark and a brief refuge for exhausted storm petrels – these are just some of the recent experiences recorded by Dr Karen Weekes on her solo row across the Atlantic.

Weekes reached the halfway mark on her 3,000 mile voyage this week with little fanfare, remarking that she is enjoying the ordeal so much at this stage that she is in no hurry to reach Barbados. Speaking to Wavelengths, she said she is pretty tired with just four hours sleep most nights.

And, unlike other extreme challenges like long-distance cycles, a solo row allows no time for a breakaway or a rest.

She spent her birthday cleaning barnacles off the hull of Millie, the craft she has named after her late mother. She says she expects to be doing that fairly frequently, due to the build-up every ten days or so.

Weekes was upbeat about her physical and mental state, and about weather and sea conditions. She reported that her Rannoch 25 ocean rowing craft is performing very well.

Weekes is undertaking her row, after costs, for two charities, the Laura Lynn Foundation and the RNLI, and there are regular updates on social media, including Facebook and Instagram.

More details on her GoFundMe page and on her progress tracker are on her website here

Listen to Karen Weekes below in interview with Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...