British rower with incurable cancer breaks Atlantic record

Kat Cordiner, 42, a British woman with incurable cancer and her two teammates, broke the world record for rowing across the Atlantic.

Cordiner, along with Charlotte Irving, 32, from London and Abby Johnston, 31, from Surrey, completed the 4,828km crossing from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to English Harbour in 42 days, seven hours and 17 minutes, arriving in Antigua on Sunday. The trio knocked seven days off the previous female trio record in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

They completed the challenge on their 25ft (7.6m) boat called Dolly Parton, rowing two hours on and two hours off continuously and unsupported. During their trip they had to contend with scorching heat, huge waves, sleep deprivation, blisters and callouses on their hands and sharks.

Cordiner, who has secondary ovarian cancer, said after stepping on land: “I think my body has just realised it’s been rowing for 42 days and some so I’m feeling a little broken.”

“Everyone tells you what an amazing experience it is but no-one tells you how difficult it actually is… Nothing prepares you for the first 10 days, they were very emotional for all of us and then you settle into a routine and it’s fine, we underestimated maybe how tough it would be,” Cordiner was reported as saying by BBC.

“We had a lot of fun on the boat, you find joy in so many moments while you’re rowing and we just helped each other the best we could and took one shift at a time,” she added.

Cordiner was diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2019, when she was having her eggs harvested in the hope of having a baby in future.

The three teammates are raising money for Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

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