Ocean Adventurer

Atlantic Ocean
Crew: Elin & Herdip Sidhu
Vessel: Dream Maker
Distance: 2552 miles
Duration: 77days 7hrs 37min
From: La Gomera
To: Antigua
Date: Dec 2007- Feb 2008
Fundraising: £190,000 for metabolic research at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

Indian Ocean
Crew: Elin, Sarah Duff, Fiona Waller and Jo Jackson
Vessel: Pura Vida
Distance: 3139 miles
Duration: 78 days 15 hrs 54 min
From: Geraldton, Australia
To: Mauritius
Date: April - July 2009
Fundraising: £26,000 for Breast Cancer Care

Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Visit Finland
Distance: 5,680 miles
Duration: 30 days
From: Qingdao, China
To: San Francisco
Date: Mar-Apr 2012
Fundraising: Noah’s Ark Appeal

Atlantic Ocean
Vessel: Nunatak
Distance: 2,890 miles
Duration: 18 days
From: Lanzarote
To: Grenada
Date: Nov-Dec 2015
Fundraising: Findacure
Atlantic Ocean

It shows determination and strength of character to decide to row across the Atlantic, especially when you’ve never been out to sea and haven’t even picked up an oar.

But Elin Haf Davies did exactly that - with a friend and fellow nurse Herdip Sidhu who was also new to rowing.

They hauled themselves across the Atlantic Ocean in searing heat, as waves higher than houses crashed around them and towering cargo ships threatened to smash their 24ft-long boat to smithereens.

They completed the Woodvale Challenge, billed at The World’s Toughest Rowing Race, and Elin became the first woman from Wales to row across the Atlantic.

The pair worked in four-hour shifts around the clock - each rowing 12-hours-a-day. The feat was physically and mentally draining.

Her determination paid off, and their efforts raised a substantial amount of money for metabolic research. Elin had worked in this field as a nurse and seen how devastating such medical conditions can be to children’s lives. She had already resolved to study the area more closely for her PhD.  

Her Atlantic adventure was a huge test of character, spirit and resolution. Many would have been broken by it. Elin was empowered.

Indian Ocean

Less than a year later, Elin was training again, with her sights set on an even longer and more grueling challenge: to be part of the first all-female rowing crew to conquer the Indian Ocean.

Again she battled the elements. Raging storms wrecked vital equipment, hatches constantly flooded, one of the crew was injured when a rogue wave smashed down on them. They all suffered the excruciating pain of blisters and salt-sores.

For weeks they led the race - ahead of several all-male crews. They rode on a wave of euphoria, catching currents that helped speed them towards to finish line. Then, storms hit and the tail-spin of a cyclone battered them back. The wind pushed them off course and the failed to hit the exact finish line, leaving them out of the race.
However, the elements could not deprive them of a world record. They became the first all-woman team to row across the Indian Ocean.
Elin knew they had all given everything they could to achieve the title and she returned to London feeling honoured to have played a part in that success. 

Pacific Ocean

Having crossed the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Elin set her sight on the Pacific Ocean - wanting to complete a “hat-trick of oceans,” but to conquer it she would first have to learn how to sail.

Her opportunity came in the shape of the 2012 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. It offered her the chance to join the crew of Visit Finland for a leg of their circumnavigation route - Quingdao, in China, to San Francisco, in the USA.

During the months before the trip, every spare moment Elin had was spent training and learning how to handle the yacht.
 This time she would be part of a crew of 17 adventurers, from all walks of life and all nationalities. 

Although Elin found sailing physically much easier than rowing, the voyage was equally challenging. She was, once again, plagued with bad weather. Gusts of 62 knots battered the Visit Finland as Force 11 gales whipped the Pacific into mountainous waves.

Despite that, those 30 days reminded Elin of the joy and freedom that she feels being out on the open sea.

Atlantic Ocean (Again) 
In 2015, still a novice sailor in many ways, Elin embarked on her first two-handed season - sailing with experienced sailor Chris Frost. They took part in the RORC qualifying races which allowed them to enter for the famous Rolex Fastnet Race. The 608-mile course, starts at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, runs to the Fastnet Rock, off the southwestern tip of Ireland then to the finish line in Plymouth. With a real sense of achievment on completing the raace the two decided to also take part in the RORC Transatlantic race in December of the same year. A crossing which they completed in 19 days, and the only monohull two handed competitors. 

The crossing was such a success that the two got engaged at the finish, and married six months later. 

Other Adventures
Elin has raised close to £300.000 for charity and her achievements have been acknowledged by the Welsh Assembly, with an award for ‘Services to Wales.’

In 2012 she carried the Olympic torch through Bangor in recognition of her sporting and fundraising achievements.

Before her ocean-going adventures Elin played rugby, and was prop forward for eleven years. She played Premiership rugby at Alton RFC and London Wasps RFC and competed at International level for five years, gaining 13 Welsh 'A' caps.

With such a thirst for adventure it always leaves everyone around her wondering ... what will Elin do next?

Read Elin's full biography here

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