A former Saffron Walden student, who grew up in Great Bardfield, is part of the fastest female trio to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Hatty Carder, who graduated from Saffron Walden County High School in 2010, joined her colleagues Bobbie Mellor and Katherine Antrobus to form the WaveBreakers team.

The group all work for Vodafone, and took on the challenge - known as the World's Toughest Row - after the company's foundation put out a call for employees to apply.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Katherine, Bobbie and Hatty on their boatKatherine, Bobbie and Hatty on their boat (Image: World's Toughest Row)

Before their voyage, the trio underwent interviews, a selection process and testing to ensure they were up to the challenge.

They set out from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 13 in a 28-feet boat, competing alongside 40 to 50 teams from around the world as only the 37th all-female crew to row the Atlantic.

On the way, they battling tumultuous storms, and at one point capsizing and falling to the back of the fleet.

Despite various challenges - including seasickness and sleep deprivation - the WaveBreakers regained their lead. 

Towards the end of their voyage, the trio powered through tough weather on a shift pattern of two hours on, one hour off for 48 hours straight.

Saffron Walden Reporter: The WaveBreakers broke the world record for fastest female trio to row the AtlanticThe WaveBreakers broke the world record for fastest female trio to row the Atlantic (Image: World's Toughest Row)

They concluded their journey on Monday, January 22 as they reached Antigua - cheered on by friends and family - achieving a world record of 40 days, 10 hours and 51 minutes.

Hatty, who used to work at Waitrose in Saffron Walden, explained before the voyage that she was going "very much out of her comfort zone", having only taken up rowing as a hobby after lockdown.


WaveBreakers' feat has inspired thousands of followers, and has also raised £84,000 - which is set to be doubled by the Vodafone Foundation.

The money will go towards WWF and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) helping to protect those at the frontline of the climate crisis - wildlife and refugees forced to leave their homes.

Supporters can find out more by following @wavebreakers2023 and @worlds.toughest.row on Instagram.

Donations to help the trio reach their £140k target can also be made via Instagram.