She holds the record for the youngest woman to row 3,000 miles solo across the Atlantic Ocean
At just 21 years and after an intensive year of physical training, Jasmine Harrison became the youngest female to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean — in fact, she became the youngest one to row solo across any ocean. Her record-breaking journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua took her exactly 70 days, 3 hours, and 48 minutes.
Jasmine’s story echoes more than one young woman’s strife on the ocean wave. It is about changing people’s perceptions of what can be achieved if we don’t allow others to discourage us. With her story, we want to celebrate inspiring women who are changing the world of travel.
Jasmine’s journey had begun long before she set out rowing
UK-based swimming teacher Jasmine didn’t only have to battle the Atlantic. Her challenging journey had begun long before setting out on the open waters.
Back in 2018, she traveled to the Caribbean island of Antigua where she had the chance to spot the finishing strokes of some of the rowers in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. At that moment, she thought to herself: “I want to do that!”
What followed was an intensive year of preparation, building strength, and learning how to row — all of that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Jasmine went through “lots of preparation from starting a campaign to building sponsorship, administration, buying a boat and associated equipment. [She] had training courses in ocean safety, navigation, radio, first aid, completed 120 hours at sea on [her] boat over a few months, as well as physical training, and learned how to use all the equipment,” she said.
Rowing solo, she was the only person she could rely on
At times, her adventure wasn’t easy. Being alone on the ocean, she was the only person to rely on when things didn’t go as planned.
One night “[she] was within 200 meters of being run down by a 745-feet-long drilling ship that hadn’t spotted [her]”. Another scary moment for her was when she almost capsized two days before reaching the finish line — sleeping in her cabin, her boat Argo was hit by a rogue wave causing her an injury.
“On each occasion, I had to go through procedures, such as contacting the drilling ship by radio and having a flare ready to fire to help them see me, and complete all checks, for example after the capsize I had to check if all the oars and vital equipment are still present and hatches intact, and then attend to injuries. The only person who could do anything at the time it was happening was me.”
“If there’s something you want to do, then do it, don’t let anything stop you!”
View this post on Instagram
Along with the intensive physical strain and groundwork, Jasmine had to stand up to discouraging voices around her.
She revealed in an interview that if she hadn’t happened to be in Antigua years ago to see the rowers in the Challenge, she would have never found out about it. In her eyes, many opportunities are closed off to women or just not advertised as something a woman would ever want to do: “If there’s something you want to do, then do it, it’s ok to go alone and do things, don’t let anything stop you!”
Rather than aspiring to become a celebrated inspiration, Jasmine wants to show other women that they can do anything if they put their minds to it, regardless of what others might think of their dreams.
Want to get to know other amazing women are out there? Read our article on Amazing women paving the way of innovation and travel on Kiwi.com Stories to find out.