A FOUR-WOMAN team will battle the elements in an ocean race to raise awareness of plastic pollution around the globe.

Calling themselves the Ocean Sheroes, they will be the third female crew of four to try and complete the Great Pacific Race.

Battling 40-foot waves and the scorching sun, the quartet hope to tackle the 2,400 nautical miles from San Francisco to Hawaii in a world record-breaking attempt of less than 50 days.

Known as one of the toughest endurance races on earth, only 60 people have ever completed it.

The team is made up of Burnham sailors Bella Collins, 28, Lily Lower, 27, and Mary Sutherland, 40, and Purusha Gordon, 43 from Wiltshire.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Purusha Gordon, Mary Sutherland, Lily Lower, Bella CollinsPurusha Gordon, Mary Sutherland, Lily Lower, Bella Collins

The quartet hope to raise £60,000 for the Seabin project, an eco-innovation which sucks in ocean waste including debris, macro and micro plastics, fibres, and even oils and detergents.

Growing up in Burnham, Bella had a natural love of the water.

She said: “Mary and I have actually rowed the Atlantic before, so we were looking for another challenge.

“We were looking to pull together a team and Purusha had the same idea.

“Then there were three of us. We knew Lily from growing up here and sailing with her in Burnham and, over the years, I have always spoken to her about rowing an ocean and she’s always sounded pretty keen.

“It’s really cool because Lily and I are the same age. We’ve been brought up doing cadet weeks in Burnham and Mary was one of the older ‘cool kids’ we looked up to – and now we’re all in a team rowing across an ocean together.

“Now, we’re trying to get our raise our fitness levels and raising awareness of our environmental campaign.”

Her uncle, Charlie Pitcher from Rannoch Adventure, designed and built their boat, Fenris, which they will set off in on May 25 this year.

Atlantic Ocean rower Dawn Wood, from Burnham, is part of their land crew.

Bella added: “I think having Rannoch Adventure here, with lots of people seeing, living and breathing it here, ocean rowers are drawn into Burnham because of it.

“We’ve been brought up by this river, so I think being on the water is second nature to us here.

“It’s definitely becoming a hub for ocean rowing.”

Fenris will be packed with all their kit and supplies, and shipped off to the start line in the US ready for the race.

To follow their adventure, visit oceansheroes.com.