Rachel has over 12 years experience working for the ambulance service in many roles before becoming an NHS Paramedic. She has spent the last few years travelling as much as possible to visit 30 countries before turning 30 and has worked as race medic on remote desert and arctic ultra marathons. In her spare time Rachel enjoys lots of hobbies including paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming.
Why do you want to row an ocean?
I could say all the usual stuff about challenging myself etc but really I want to do something really extreme and awesome, big epic crossing adventures these days are usually running or biking and I’m not amazing at either but I’ve always loved being on the water with a paddle that’s why the idea of this adventure is so exciting! The chance to do it as a team is what really makes me want to do it and when I saw it was raising awareness for not only Parkinson’s disease but also PTSD I was sold – mental health in the emergency services is becoming an increasingly huge problem so being part of something looking for solutions is amazing.
Have you taken part in a big adventure before?
I’ve been involved with adventures in the last few years with a 5 day ultra marathon across the Namibian desert in +50’c and 2 weeks crossing the Yukon in -45’c but that has always been on the sidelines supporting as a medic. I meet all these badass people who take on these challenges and I know it’s time to do one for myself and not just be the one giving out the blister plasters!!
What are you most looking forward to about rowing?
Being in a team. I love the close knit friendships that form doing stuff like this and although it’s not always guaranteed to go smoothly I look forward to hopefully going in as 4 strangers and coming out as people who have endured something amazing together. Plus I want to be able to dine out on the story forever.
What do you think the biggest challenges will be?
Lack of sleep. I really really like my sleep, it’s my favourite hobby and I’m really good at it.
What 3 strengths do you think you will bring to the crew?
Endless supply of sarcasm and dark humour, impeccable quality of snacks and being a big team player.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I can’t single out one, there are a lot of strong women and men I’ve met in recent years who are doing great things and having amazing adventures and I’m massively inspired by them to try to change my mindset and my goals to be able to achieve even a smidge of what they’re doing. Instagram is great for finding inspiring adventurers and travellers and following them for a constant kick up the arse to do more with my life.
What advice would you give to your 10 year old self?
Don’t bother with trigonometry it’s a waste of time. Sign up to something like DofE to learn how to survive and thrive doing cool adventurous things outdoors and if your brother keeps making you hit yourself in the head call childline.
Aside from friends and family, what do you think you will miss most while you’re at sea?
My bed, my shower and sparking water.
If you could only listen to one album for the whole crossing, what would it be?
Dolly Parton – The essential Dolly Parton!
What would you sing at a karaoke night?
Alanis Morissette – Ironic (but please don’t make me!!!)
What will you bring as your luxury item?
What is the most annoying habit other people have?
Not cleaning up after themselves
Very tough question! At the moment maybe “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine” – Gail Honeyman
Tell us an interesting thing about you people should know…
I am the current reigning champion for the Hampshire ambulance control room yum yum eating competition after eating 45 yum yum’s!