Former point-to-point rider aiming for solo Atlantic rowing record attempt

  • A former point-to-point rider and trainer is aiming to become the first adaptive rower to cross the Atlantic.

    Kelda Wood will begin her 3,000-mile journey from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Spain, on 12 December.

    The row is part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Charity, for her campaign Row to Raise.

    She will be rowing for up to 16 hours a day for two months, fuelled by freeze-dried food and desalinated water.

    Kelda, who retired from race riding six years ago, suffered a serious leg injury in 2002 after a square bale of haylage fell from the top of a stack, crushing her underneath.

    She was told her leg might have to be amputated, but surgeons managed to save the limb.
    Her left ankle is fused with arthritis, causing a high amount of pain.

    “My number one goal with this challenge is to inspire more young people who have been through life-changing emotional or physical trauma to reach out and get the help they need”, says Kelda, whose boat is named Storm Petrel.

    “That’s why, each day I’m on the ocean I’ll be rowing for a different individual, sharing their incredible story, as well as links to charities and organisations that provide invaluable networks of support.”

    Since her injury, Kelda has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and represented Great Britain in para canoeing, narrowly missing out on selection for the 2016 Paralympics.

    She is also the first recorded adaptive female to reach the summit of the 7,000m Mount Aconcagua on the Chilean border — the highest peak in South America.

    Kelda’s Row to Raise campaign is inspired by the work of her charity, Climbing Out, which runs five-day outdoor activity programmes aimed at rebuilding confidence in in young people who have been through a life changing, injury, illness or trauma.

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