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Dr Karen Weekes: First Irish Woman to Row Solo Across the Atlantic (Podcast)

5th March 2022
About 30 close friends and family flew to Barbados to greet Karen Weekes (left) on her arrival in Barbados
bout 30 close friends and family flew to Barbados to greet Karen Weekes (left) on her arrival in Barbados Credit: Mick Murphy

“So your boat goes up the size of the wave, and then it goes down a bit and sometimes you might surf it or whatever but yeah, they were very very big..”.

I’m useless at measuring things, I don’t know what height.... but they weren’t aggressive to me, which was nice. ..”

The words of Dr Karen Weekes the morning after her triumphant arrival into Barbados to become the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic.

The first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic nears the finish in Barbados Photo: Mick MurphyThe first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic nears the finish in Barbados Photo: Mick Murphy

About 30 of her team, close friends and family flew to Barbados to greet her, and there was a large crowd in Tully’s Bar in Kinvara to watch her welcome on social media.

“Even this morning my body is aching, and it hasn’t been for 81 days,” she said, expressing relief at a break from the intensity of it.

“You just can’t turn off at all...”

Weekes, who has been congratulated by President Michael D Higgins and is Afloat’s Sailor of the Month, says she plans to “plant spuds” back home in Kinvara, Co Galway.

However, she also plans to keep her Shecando campaign going to encourage young women into adventure sports and to highlight UN sustainability goals and ocean conservation.

She spoke to Wavelengths (below) from Bridgetown in Barbados.

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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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...

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