An Abergavenny solicitor who is looking to join a highly-exclusive club of women who have rowed both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has given an update on her crew’s preparations ahead of their rowing challenge next year.

In June this year the Chronicle reported on how Elaine Theaker and her Flyin’ Fish boat crew would be racing in the first ever Pacific Challenge race from Monterey in California to Nawiliwili in the Hawaiin Islands starting on June 12 2023.

Elaine is no stranger to choppy waters having broken records in 2018 when she rowed across the Atlantic ocean in 60 days alongside female crew-mates Di Carrington and Sharon Magrath, becoming the oldest women’s crew and first all-female threesome to achieve the feat.

Elaine who retired from her job in Abergavenny back in June will be joined on her Pacific journey by ocean row veterans Alison Wannell who lives in Devon and works for Devon Air Ambulance, former firefighter Neil Blackeby from Cornwall and truck driver Andy Warner from Hampshire.

Since June, the Flyin’ Fish crew have grown to five members, with latest crew member Huw Carden from Dingestow in Monmouthsire, joining the team three months ago.

Only 80 people have ever rowed from US mainland to Hawaiian Islands, but Elaine and her crew are hoping to complete the challenge and raise as much money as they can for their chosen charity Air Ambulance UK and SSAFA.

With just over seven months before the race start in California, Elaine and the crew are now busy making preparations and planning for their mammoth challenge.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Flyin’ Fish crew member Elaine Theaker said: “We have been hard at work, as a crew, during the Summer months training down in North Devon, where our ocean row boat is currently based, getting used to being together on board a confined space and getting to know our boat and what she is capable of.

“We have undertaken a number of 24 hour rows around the coast of Devon. One highlight on one of our rowing trips was when we were greeted by pods of dolphin who danced around the boat and followed us for some distance. We continue to meet regularly as a crew now to push forward the planning of the project.

“There is still a lot of planning to get us to the start line. For example, we are currently sourcing a logistics company to assist us with shipping out row boat, Voyager, over to Monteray in California to get her to the start line. Plus, once we have rowed over to Hawaii, we need to ship our boat back to the UK.

“We are seeking sponsorship from any companies or individuals who might be interested in supporting our challenge and who would like the added benefit of media exposure on a global level.”

Not content with just planning for their ocean row, Elaine and crew member Andy Warner recently took part in the Tamilnadu Rickshaw Run 2022.

As part of the race, the pair had to drive a Tuk Tuk in a circular journey of 950km from Chennai and back to Chennai over a period of 5 days and were given a number of light-hearted tasks along the way which gained them points towards the final race total.

Elaine and Andy were eventually crowned overall winners with Elaine saying: “When all the points were added up at the end of the race we discovered that we were the overall winners of the Tamilnadu Rickshaw Run 2022 and we were presented with medals and a commemorative plate as our award.”

For more information on Elaine and her Flyin’ Fish crew’s challenge and to donate towards their efforts please visit their website