Elle’s Belles ready for Atlantic Challenge

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Two Bristol-based rowers have launched a bid to row across the Atlantic Ocean, in memory of their friend Eleanor Rose Ellis.

Stewards Charitable Trust (SCT) coach Hannah Lawton and teammate Jessie VanBeck will take part in the 2013 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Rowing Race, and aim to smash the current record of 75 days for a women’s double.

They are undertaking the challenge to raise £100,000 for Myton Hospice and cervical cancer research charity Jo’s Trust, in memory of their friend Eleanor who lost her battle with cervical cancer in May this year.

‘Elle (Eleanor) was an inspiration to everyone who knew her,’ said Hannah. ‘This seemed like a fitting tribute.’

The duo – who are both University of the West of England (UWE) alumni – held a launch event for their Inspirational Friends Atlantic Rowing Team on Sunday (25 November) in Bristol, with guest speakers including Olympic medallist Debbie Flood.

The event raised nearly £1300 for the cause, and representatives from UWE announced that the university will be donating £50,000 to purchase an ocean rowing boat.

For more information about the challenge, and to find out how you can sponsor the Inspirational Friends team, visit http://insfriends.org.uk/.

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