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Naked Naturist Trains for 'Ultimate Rowing Challenge' Across Atlantic

A 39-year old amateur rower from Nottingham, UK, has been turning heads as she opted to train nude for the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge that starts in early December.

Julie Paillin, a businesswoman and mother-of-two, has been practicing her sport and building up her strength by setting out on solo trips to a secluded river behind her home in Ratcliffe-on-Soar.

The woman is part of a group of amateur rowers that refer to themselves as “The Transatlantic Trio” and are believed to be the first mixed team to ever compete in the race.

Paillin was quoted by The Sun as saying:

“Being on the water is so natural to me, having lived on a canal boat for the first half of my life. I am a strong believer that if you want to do something enough there are no barriers to making it happen. Rowing across the Atlantic is pretty much all I have thought about for the past 18 months.”

Rowing a 28ft boat from the Canary Islands to Antigua without a cox to guide her, the amateur rower will be joined by a man and two women: Gemma Best, 40, civil servant Amy Wood, 26, and salesman Mark Sealey, 56.

The team’s manager Gordon Ritchie explained that salt water can become abrasive for someone wearing a rowing suit, adding:

“But the reason Julie does it is she is a naturalist. She doesn’t bat an eyelid about getting her kit off. When you’re on a 28ft rowing boat they’ll all have to at some point. There is a cabin at the front, the size of two kitchen units.”

Julie Paillin first acquired a love for rowing 13 years ago when she founded the Devil's Elbow club, based at Trent Lock.

“Having rowed inshore marathons, river marathons and indoor rowing marathons, I have seen fellow rowers and indoor rowers take on the Pacific or Atlantic Challenges over the last seven years," she added.

The team will be living on the boat for the duration of the race, eating from dehydrated food packets.

Paillin, who said the furthest she has ever rowed was 50km, was quoted by NottinghamshireLive as saying:

“My biggest fear is being stuck in the super-hot, damp, tiny (pop-up tent sized) cabin for days on end whilst a storm is raging outside and we are unable to row."

The Nottinghamshire mother added:

“The challenge is a huge physical test for anyone, but the biggest battle of all will be in our own minds… We will return changed people and how we overcome each and every battle in our heads, broken equipment, pain, injury will shape the rest of our lives."

The team have already announced they intend to donate any cash their valiant effort generates to Duty to Care, that supports the mental health of NHS workers who are currently struggling to help patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Endurance Race

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2020 is a race from San Sebastian Harbour in La Gomera, off the coast of Tenerife, to English Harbour in Antigua, dubbed the “ultimate rowing challenge”.

​​The race is totally unsupported, with teams required to stock their own supplies and rely on a desalinator for drinking water.

For 24 hours a day the competitors row for two hours and sleep for two hours. Finishing times for the race in 2018 ranged from 34 to 76 days.

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