Kiwi conquers the Pacific

NZ professor hopes rowing across ‘horrendous’ seas will help meningococcal survivor.

New Zealander Tara Remington, left, and American Angela Madsen at the finish of their epic 4000km row across the Pacific Ocean from long Beach California to Waikiki, Hawaii.
New Zealander Tara Remington, left, and American Angela Madsen at the finish of their epic 4000km row across the Pacific Ocean from long Beach California to Waikiki, Hawaii.

After 60 days and 4000km of sometimes "horrendous" Pacific Ocean seas, two women have rowed from Los Angeles to Waikiki, Hawaii, and raised money for charities.

Tara Remington, 44, from New Zealand, and American paralympian Angela Madsen, 54, set off from Long Beach, California, on May 20 in a 6m craft called The Spirit of Orlando.

Last night, they met a joyous and tearful reception from family and friends at the Waikiki Yacht Club, becoming the first female pair to row from California to Hawaii, and Ms Madsen, who is paralysed from the waist down, the first paraplegic to row from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

"It feels amazing - surreal after being at sea for two months to be in this environment with my partner and my son and daughter and friends," Mrs Remington told the Herald last night.

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"Physically, at the moment, I'm riding the adrenalin high ... But tomorrow I will lie by the pool and won't be able to move.

"Angela and I have been a good team. Both of us are ... strong and neither of us wants to quit and we both, no making excuses, and we just row and the outcome is fantastic."

Mrs Remington said the weather was a mixed bag.

"I have never had such horrendous seas ...

"The Pacific threw everything at us. It was rugged, big seas, big winds.

After spotting land for the first time in two months on Friday, the rowers stepped up their pace to almost 130km per 24 hours.

The pair battled huge seas and rogue waves - one wave throwing Mrs Remington into the bow, almost knocking her overboard.

"I thought, 'my God, with 10 days to go we're going to capsize'," said Mrs Remington, who left the United States for New Zealand 18 years ago and is a professional teaching fellow at the University of Auckland.

The Waiuku resident hopes her efforts will raise up to $10,000 for meningococcal survivor 10-year-old Charlotte Cleverley-Bisman, who lost her arms and legs as a baby.

Make a donation here and read more on Tara's rowing effort here.

- NZ Herald

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