Name: Sarah Duff
Age: 25 (but 26 by the start of the race, I get to celebrate in style in Oz!)
Occupation: Consumer Researcher until Oct 2008, then professional bum whilst I travel around NZ for 2 months before returning to the UK to prepare full-time for the Indian Ocean.
Where are you from? Reading, born and bred.
What do you like doing when you’re not rowing an ocean? For the past year Ocean rowing has been my life (it has a tendency to take over any semblence of a normal exsistence) so it's kind of difficult to say! Sleeping comes out quite highly. Rowing of the less dangerous variety on the River. Spending as much time as possible outdoors. And whiling away many an afternoon and evening with my friends over a beverage or two!
Why do you want to row across the Indian Ocean? To be part if the first ever Indian Ocean Rowing Race will be incredible, and the opportunity of attempting to become the first women across is one I just can’t refuse!
I am incredibly proud of all that we achieved in rowing across the Atlantic in 07/08. We spent just 3 months preparing, we had never cooked, ate or slept on the boat before the start of the race… not to mention the fact that we’d never been to sea before! And yet we successfully made it across, one of our crew became the youngest person ever to row an Ocean, and we raised nearly 30k for Charity. I think we achieved so much, but I would love to go back out there having done a bit more preparation to see what we can really do!
To be honest the thought of rowing another Ocean half fills me with dread, half with complete excitement! The experience as a whole of rowing an Ocean is incredible, but I know the reality involves pushing yourself further than you think is humanly possible!
Most looking forward to? The peace and tranquility of the Ocean. The amazing ever-changing sky! The incredible Wildlife. Spending time with our amazing team. Having the best all-over tan! Arriving in Mauritius!Seeing my family and friends after months of being at sea!
Least looking forward to? Where to begin…!! The unbelievable pain of rowing for hours on end with open sores on your bum. The frustration of getting blown backwards when you are fighting for every mile. The heartbreak of saying goodbye and not knowing when you will next see everyone. When the cooker breaks just before dinner time. Getting woken up for your next shift when you feel like you’ve been asleep for seconds. The cravings for normal food. A complete lack of privacy and dignity. Just not knowing when it will all be over!
What will you miss most while you’re on the boat? My wonderful Mum and all my family and friends. Being able to walk normally, not just up and down the deck half walking half crawling. Land, in particular the gorgeous countryside where I live. My bed!!!!
What food will you crave? Judging by last time anything and everything that we don’t have on the boat!
Luxury item on the boat? A very long book!! Last time I had to read the same one 3 times!
First drink in Mauritius? Champagne!!
Favourite quote/motto? "Always do what you are afraid to do." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." William Shakespeare
Claim to fame? Appearing in the Oct 2008 issue of Cosmopolitan with our Atlantic crew as ‘Ultimate Women of 2008’!
Achievements to date? Rowing across the Atlantic in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2007, coming 3rd in the fours class. Qualifying for Women’s Henley in 2008. Completing the Great River Race in 2007 and 2008. Reading Half-marathon 2005. London to Brighton Bike Ride 2005.
Secret skill? Can turn muesli blue! And I can touch my nose with my tongue! Not sure if they’re really skills tho… or secret come to think of it…!
How would others describe you in 3 words?
Loud/ Blonde/ Dizzy
Vivacious/ Blonde/ Amazon
Committed/ Energetic/ Determined
My Lovely Mum couldn’t be narrowed down to 3 so… Caring/ Confident/Gregarious/ Brave/ Tenacious/ Vivacious/ Single minded and Beautiful (though she kind of had to say that didn’t she!)
Determined/ Outgoing/ Ambitious
Generous/ Determined/ Sparkling
Up for anything (!)