Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Victoria Evans to row across Atlantic ocean solo to raise funds for Women in Sport

Posted on 6 March 2020 by Becky Thompson
Victoria Evans. Photo courtesy of Victoria Evans
Victoria Evans. Photo courtesy of Victoria Evans

Victoria Evans had never rowed in her life before taking on this challenge. 

In fact, 33-year-old Evans didn’t really get involved in sport until her mid 20s. 

Now, she is aiming to break the world record for a solo row by a woman across the Atlantic ocean, with the goal of raising £50,000 for the Women in Sport charity. 

Having experienced sport as something that was transformational in her own life, Evans is passionate about driving for change.

The sports lawyer has been working in the industry for the better part of a decade and inequalities for women in sport have been apparent throughout her experience working and playing sport.

“The combination of those two things, has allowed me to see that there just aren’t the same opportunities there for women,” said Evans. 

“It also allowed me to see why we need to push for that [opportunities] because when sport is there, it’s such a great thing to use to drive change and bring positive facets into your life, I think everyone should have access to that.”

Evans is aiming to break the world record. Photo courtesy of Victoria Evans.
Evans is aiming to break the world record. Photo courtesy of Victoria Evans.

The record for a female rower is 49 days, 7 hours and 15 minutes, but only 11 women have successfully completed the Trade Winds 1 route from east to west. 

While there are uncertainties ahead for Evans, she is confident that the sacrifices needed to succeed in this challenge will be worth it. 

“You’re putting blind faith into something that you’re really passionate about and knowing that hopefully other people will come on board and support that.

“I feel so strongly about why I’m doing it that I can’t see why anyone else wouldn’t buy into that and see the benefits. Therefore, I’ve always had the faith that it will all come together.”

Having overcome an eating disorder and depression through sport, Evans is passionate that sport can be life-changing for everyone, especially women. 

“The key message that I’m trying to get across is, it doesn’t matter what it is that you’re trying to overcome. 

“It might be that you’re not even trying to overcome anything, sport is just such a great thing to bring into your life for so many different reasons, whatever it is that you’re dealing with.”

 Victoria Evans. Photo courtesy of Victoria Evans.
Victoria Evans. Photo courtesy of Victoria Evans.

Evans started her journey in sport by running five km, then 10 km, and building up to half-marathons. 

She hopes that this row will set an example for women and girls everywhere. 

“I would hope the row provides to them the example that they’re capable of so much more than they think they are.

“You just need to keep moving forward and it is all achievable, it’s all there for the taking if you’re looking for it.”

While inspiring individuals is incredibly important to Evans, she feels that real change also needs to come from corporations in the sports industry.

“I think secondary to that is also trying to set that example, on a corporate level, to key stakeholders within sports as an industry that change is needed. 

“On an industry level this change is starting to happen, but it needs to happen quicker.”

Evans will set off for her row from Gran Canaria in early 2021, ending the journey in Barbados.

With every stroke, she will be rowing to raise £50,000 for Women in Sport.