Linda Whittaker - Team Oarsome Foursome

Linda Whittaker - Atlantic Rower

I think I could jump and move before I could officially walk! Since my earliest memory I’ve always been active … ballet, gymnastics, trampolining, dance, step aerobics, running (well, jogging really), gig rowing, paddle boarding. I love being outside, breathing fresh air and being ‘in’ nature (oh dear, sounding a bit like a dating site profile now!). Rowing has become a passion. It’s a place where there’s only rowing to think about. It can be quiet and calming, noisy and ferocious. Being on or in the water is part of me. I blame it on the genes. My father was in the Royal Navy!

They say life begins at 50. Well that’s me now and I don't feel my age (you shouldn't!). In a momentous year I had pondered doing something a little ‘out there’, maybe more than a half marathon but less than an ultra. Perhaps a triathlon or an endurance row. Then one day in June 2017, after a walk on my local beach I was asked “fancy rowing the Atlantic?” (something about being determined and just a little bonkers were also mentioned but we won’t go there!). It was exactly one week before my 50th. I said yes … it would have been rude not to!

We’re all capable of far more than we give ourselves credit for (especially women) so why not? I can and I will. I’m also a huge fan of raising awareness for our amazing community groups and charities so this is also a chance to let them shine and direct funds to Cornwall Blood Bikes, Carefree and Hospiscare Exmouth & Lympstone. We have an oarsome (get it?) crew and fabulous support from Talisker Whisky plus our amazing family and friends. Rock on Antigua 2020!