BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
PORT ST. CHARLES, BARBADOS - Kiko Matthews, 36, born and raised in Herefordshire, England, arrived in Port St. Charles, Barbados yesterday at 11:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time. She finished an un-supported 3,000-mile journey in 50 days from Gran Canaria, and broke the World Record, 56 days, becoming the fastest woman to complete a solo trans-Atlantic row. Kiko Matthews rowed the Atlantic in a 21-foot long Soma of Essex for nearly 16 hours a day for seven consecutive weeks. She dealt with 70-foot waves, sharks, was able to sleep in two hour shifts, and had severe hand and feet blisters. Only six female athletes have previously completed the journey solo.
Kiko says, "The thought that eight months ago I was lying in hospital having my brain operated on and now I am here having rowed the Atlantic, I guess I am a bit proud. I have shown that anyone can attempt anything given the right attitude, belief, and support. I want to use my story to inspire women to challenge themselves."
"I didn't get scared by the adverse conditions, I just got on with things. What can you do about it? You have no choice but to carry on, like in life. It was temporary relentlessness. If I did ever get down, I thought of the people willing me on, I wanted to do it for them. The stories they sent me supported me incredibly. By the last two weeks, I was just totally content and at peace; I didn't even listen to music," she says.
Shawn W. Anderson