A TEAM of ocean rowers have sailed into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Burnham trio Lily Lower, 27, Bella Collins, 28, and Mary Sutherland, 41, and Purusha Gordon, 43, from Wiltshire, have smashed the Great Pacific Race record as the fastest all-female team of four to row 2,400 miles from San Francisco to Hawaii.

The Ocean Sheroes crossed the finish line on Tuesday in a time of just under 36 days.

They are also the first all-British four to complete the ultimate endurance challenge.

The women were all smiles as they reached Hawaii, though no family could be there to welcome them due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Lily said: “Whilst the night shifts were super tough when the waves were hitting us from all angles in the pitch black, the incredible sunsets and moonrise and surfing down the waves made up for it.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Lighting flares at the finish line

Bella’s brother, Angus, 31, was among a four-man crew who crossed the finish line after just 30 days.

The Lat35 team smashed the previous 39-day record, making Angus the only man to hold records in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the youngest man to ever row all three.

Angus and Bella grew up in a family of sailors.

Their grandfather was a world champion sailor on the Flying Dutchman, and uncle Charlie Pitcher was the fastest man to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 2013.

Bella said: “Sharing another ocean crossing with my best friend and brother Angus was an absolute privilege.

“He’s my biggest supporter and I couldn’t do it without him.

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An emotional team hug back on dry land

“It’s an experience that bonds us beyond anything else.

“We have no plans for another adventure – I think we both need to rest and recover now.”

Asked what the secret of the Ocean Sheroes’ success was, Mary Sutherland said: “Resilience and goal focus is key, along with knowing your team’s capabilities and how hard you can push them.

“These ladies didn’t disappoint.

“We spent a lot of time learning each other’s motivations.

“Personal goals and personalities are important living in such close quarters and intense conditions.

“Throw in a general ‘get it done’ attitude and you have a recipe for great things.

“My personal expectations of what our team could achieve was around the 40-day mark and I’m so happy to have blown that out of the water, but we worked hard for our achievements.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

The Ocean Sheroes on the water

Since its launch in 2014, only 22 teams have ever completed the Great Pacific Race.

The Ocean Sheroes are looking to raise £60,000 for the Seabin Project.

The ocean-cleaning technology helps to create cleaner seas with healthier marine life by catching an estimated 1.5 tonnes of marine debris per year, including micro-plastics, microfibres, fuel and oil.

Since setting off on May 31 in their boat Fenris they rowed 24/7 through brutal conditions, taking turns in pairs to row two hours on, two hours off.

The sea conditions included 30ft waves, gusts of wind reaching 47mph.

Fenris was custom built at Rannoch Adventures in Burnham by Bella’s uncle, Charlie Pitcher.