Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wheelchair user among team of women to be first to row nonstop around Britain

From The AP:

LONDON — A 50-year-old wheelchair-bound former U.S. marine and three teammates have become the first women to row nonstop around mainland Britain after completing the 2,000-mile journey.

Amateur rowers Belinda Kirk, Laura Thomasson, Beverley Ashton and Angela Madsen reached London's Tower Bridge on July 23 to finish the trip in 51 days, 16 hours, 42 minutes.

Madsen (pictured) is a wheelchair-bound former U.S. marine from Long Beach, Calif. She has rowed the Atlantic and Indian oceans but says Britain "presented the most challenging and unpredictable weather patterns."

The 50-year-old grandmother broke her finger setting off a flare but carried on with a strapped hand.

The quartet started the race against a men's team June 1, but the men gave up after less than two weeks.