A Belfast woman is advancing to biking 3,000 afar above the Atlantic in a bid to become the oldest woman to row an ocean solo.
Shirley Thompson, who grew up in the south of the burghal , is appearance her 60th altogether by demography on the ballsy claiming after this year.
She believes the adventure will booty her about three months and she will set off from the Canaries in mid-November with the end destination St Barts in the Caribbean.
Speaking to Belfast Live, the 60-year-old said: “It is a huge challenge, I capital to do article huge for my 60th, article crazy.”
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Shirley has alone started canoeing in this year and alone afresh learnt how to swim, but she is assured in her own abilities back it comes to the challenge, although is not demography any chances.
The above clandestine jet stewardess, who has aureate about the apple with a host of celebrities, is additionally able-bodied accepted for organising the Jungle Marathon, an iconic 260km date chase through the Amazon Jungle which gives ultra runners and adventurers from about the apple the befalling to booty allotment in one of the toughest contest in the ability world.
“I accept taken allotment in a lot of ability contest and mentally I do not anticipate that ancillary of things is activity to be the adamantine part,” she said.
“I anticipate it is your arch that drives your anatomy and I anticipate you charge to be mentally able to do article like this. I brainstorm I will be afraid witless but that is allotment of it.
“I started canoeing in March on a canoeing apparatus and again started canoeing on baptize in August. I apperceive it sounds mad but the canoeing is the easier allotment of it, anyone can put the oars in the water, it is accepting aggregate abroad appropriate that that takes time and is capital to accepting the best accessible adventitious of extensive the added side.
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“It is compassionate how the acclimate will impact, how you will handle any problems or emergencies you appointment at sea, what aliment and accouterment you will need, aggregate that surrounds the row, these all add to the courage of the challenge.
“You charge to accept a reasonable akin of fettle for the canoeing and to be able to move the baiter through the water, but you don’t charge to be an Olympic rower.”
Shirley, whose baiter is alleged Amigo, said she hopes the 3,000 mile claiming will booty about three months, but she accepted it could booty more, all depending on the altitude back she gets out there.
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She will row for 14 hours per day and blow in a baby berth the admeasurement of a cupboard, while actuality subjected to aggregate the boss ocean throws at her, including huge waves, capsizing, sea-sickness, alkali sores, encountering sharks, whales, dolphins, and burden ships.
“Part of me is terrified, but I try not to anticipate about the dangers too much, no one asked me to do this, it was my choice,” she added.
“I am focused on my training and accepting all the accessories appropriate and aloof actuality prepared. If I am out active I will attending at houses and anticipate there could be after-effects as big as that or bigger back I am out there, but again I try to accumulate it from my mind.
“I anticipate if you anticipate too abundant you alarm yourself witless afore you go, already you are out there you accept to get on with it.
“The admeasurement of the after-effects do not anguish me as abundant as capsizing. I will be angry to the baiter all the time so if the baiter does invert I will invert with it and end up in the baptize but the baiter is basal abundant so it will appropriate itself.
“I am talking about it absolutely calmly now but I apprehend back it happened I will be paralysed with fear.”
Shirley said ambidextrous with burden ships 500 times the admeasurement of her canoeing baiter was additionally a big concern, abnormally back she will be sleeping, but she hoped she would consistently be best up on their alarm in abundant time for them to change their advance and abstain her.
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She additionally said ancestors and friends’ reactions had been absorbing back she told them about what she advised to do.
“People anticipate I am certifiable,” added Shirley, who is now based in the south of France.
“Most bodies would go and accept a big affair or go on a nice anniversary for their 60th. My sister Evelyn who lives in Belfast is added afraid than me.
“Friends aloof anticipate I am mad but they apperceive I am actual determined, it is article I accept set my apperception to.”
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Shirley is packing her canoeing baiter abounding of aggregate she will charge to survive off for the aing three additional months, this includes a activity raft, electric desalination accessory for her bubbler baptize and affluence of food.
So far she has spent £80,000 on advancing for the endeavour, this includes purchasing the canoeing boat, face-lifting and ensuring it is up to the claiming and all the all-important accessories for the trip.
She has been training hard, both on and off the water, and has taken exams in navigation, operating radios, aboriginal aid and is currently belief for her yacht masters ocean approach course.
Shirley is now allurement for donations from anyone who can advice armamentarium the of her ballsy challenge, through which she additionally hopes to accession money for two charities, a blight alms and an beastly alms which she is yet to name.
To acquisition out added about Shirley’s row analysis out her Facebook folio actuality , and to accord bang actuality .
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