HOLMES, Tori




Author Tags: Women

Pain Is Temporary. Quitting Lasts Forever. This slogan—from Lance Armstrong’s book, It’s Not About the Bike—was handprinted across the stern of the rowboat that was used by Vancouver-based Tori Holmes and Paul Gleeson to complete their 85-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean in February 2006, having departed from the Canary Islands in November of 2005.

The inspirational Armstrong quote remained in their sights with every stroke of the oars during their 4,700-kilometres adventure on the high seas—overcoming capsizing, thirst, hallucinations and sleep deprivation. Their arms-strong voyage has been recounted in Crossing the Swell: An Atlantic Journey by Rowboat (Rocky Mountain $19.95) already reviewed glowingly by the Sunday Tribune and other publications in Britain.

Gleeson (a former financial advisor from Limerick, Ireland) and Holmes (a self-described “girlie girl” from Devon, Alberta) were competing in a Trans-Atlantic Race during which she became the youngest woman to row across the Atlantic.

More than 200 people have used oar-power to cross the Atlantic, including 18 women. The first such voyage by rowboat was completed in 1896 by two Norweigians. At least six people have died trying, and dozens had required deep-sea rescue. Most oar-powered crossings have connected the Canary and Caribbean Islands (5,000 kilometres).

Julie and Colin Angus of B.C. were the first to cross from the mainland of one continent to the mainland of another (10,000 kilometres). The story of how they rowed for 145 days across the Atlantic, from Lisbon, Portugal to Costa Rica, also in 2005-2006, was recounted in her book, Rowboat in a Hurricane: My Amazing Journey Across a Changing Atlantic Ocean (Greystone 2008). It was the cover story in BC BookWorld, WINTER, 2008. Julie Angus, of Courtenay, was named a National Geographic Explorer of the Year. 978-1-897522-53-0

PHOTO: Tori Holmes and Paul Gleeson