Atlantic rowing challenge for Miriam

13 December 2022

Miriam Payne standing beside her boat during the run-up to the race
The world’s toughest row, covering 3,000 miles across the Atlantic and facing 40-foot waves, sleep deprivation and salt sores, awaits solo endurance rower and farmer's daughter, Miriam Payne, as she joins the starting line for the 2022 Tallisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands this week, the endurance event will be a far cry from the East Yorkshire farm where she grew up, says her dad and Pocklington member, Christopher Payne. But it’s an ambition she has had for several years after getting the rowing bug while at university.

“More people have climbed Mount Everest than have rowed the Atlantic,” he said. “She will face tremendous physical and mental challenges, but couldn’t have done more to prepare.”

Rowing for two health and welfare charities

Partly in response to the challenges of the race – which will see her unable to accept any repairs, food or water once underway – Miriam has chosen to raise money for two health and wellbeing charities: Wellbeing of Women and Mind.

Both charities, she says, are close to her heart as both champion physical and mental health issues that are typically misunderstood and under-funded.

With 50-60 days of rowing and more than 1.5m oar strokes ahead, Miriam is not surprised when people ask her why she is taking on such a feat of endurance.

“I know it will be unbelievably tough and I will have to trust my training, preparation and mental strength, but ultimately not much happens that’s interesting when you take the easy route!

“I am so grateful for all the support I have had to make this dream a reality – from the generous sponsorship to the two mini Christmas cakes my mum has made to help keep me going.
“They will make all the difference when I am mainly getting my 5000 calories a day from rehydrated meals!”

Miriam Payne

Miriam Payne rowing

NFU support for Miriam's quest

The NFU’s York East County team has supported Miriam’s quest and county chairman, Angela Kirkwoood, says she will be following her progress as she drives for the finish line in Antigua.

“This is a remarkable solo, unassisted effort but I’m sure she will complete it in style,” she said. “We all wish her all the luck in the world and will be so proud to see one of our local farming community taking part in such a gruelling event.”

Follow Miriam's progress

As Miriam sets off on her epic journey, you can follow the race on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge website 

Miriam is also posting throughout her row on her various social media channels: Instagram Facebook and TikTok

Miriam also has her own website, with more information about the challenge and about the charities she is supporting.

Miriam's charities

For obvious reasons, Miriam is trying to raise as much money as possible for her two charities:

Wellbeing of Women

A charity that aims to change the lives of women, girls and babies, through research, education and advocacy.

Hull and East Yorkshire Mind

Hull & East Yorkshire Mind was founded in 1976 and has 40 years experience in providing mental health services to people in Hull and East Yorkshire. Affiliated to the Mind network made up of over 130 organisations across England and Wales, it is dedicated to delivering services, campaigning and giving a voice to people with mental health problems, their families, carers and community.

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