Novice rower from Worthing joins Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge crew

A footwear designer from Worthing is part of a British rowing team preparing for the challenge of a lifetime, despite living in four different countries.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:26 pm

Jess Goddard, 30, was born and brought up on the south coast, attending West Park CE Primary School, Davison High School and Worthing College before completing an art foundation course at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College and a degree at Ravensbourne University.

She now works for adidas and is based in Nuremberg in Germany, where she is in training for the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge as part of the team In Deep Ship.

Jess, who has no previous rowing experience, said they chose the name because it reflected how they felt.

Joe Lewis, Jess Goddard, centre, and Lauren Hunt, three of the four-man crew In Deep Ship

She added: “The challenge itself poses many, so many, obstacles.”

Her teammates are scattered across the globe, aerospace engineer Joe Lewis, 34, in Dublin, architect Lauren Hunt, 33, in London and occupational therapist Jessica Mullins, 31, in Canada.

The four say they are ‘ordinary’ people who plan to take on the challenge in December, rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic. They are fundraising for three charities, Anthony Nolan, Crisis and Covenant House Vancouver.

Jess said: “Sleep deprivation will be a huge factor as we will be rowing two hours on and two hours off, 24/7 - that could last, for some, up to 60 days.

“Food and drink will also be difficult – we must bring dehydrated food to fuel each of us with 5,000 calories per day and 10 litres of drinking water, which needs to be converted from sea water through a water maker.

“And the space we have to deal with for that amount of time is another – the boat is 8m x 1.5m and very ‘cosy’. It also doesn’t have a toilet so we will need to be creative and bring it back to basics using a bucket.”

Jess describes herself as ‘curious, passionate and hard-working’ and admits the challenge, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean, is likely to be dangerous, as they battle 20ft waves, row across five-mile deep sea valleys and navigating huge storms.

Joe taught Jessica to row back in 2014, but Lauren has no previous rowing experience, so she and Jess and are having to learn fast. Each has their own dedicated training plan and they are able to work together only via virtual sessions.

Jess said: “Competing in this challenge is far more than just the row. It’s a two-year mission of meticulous preparation, which involves co-ordinating our team across two continents, learning the navigation, seamanship and survival skills necessary, alongside buying and preparing our boat, whilst training like professional athletes.

“We all work in office jobs and are swapping the desk and the city for an adventure. We are just four ordinary people who are hoping to do something extraordinary and will push ourselves to our limits, train like athletes and hope we can inspire others to follow their dreams.”

In Deep Ship hopes to raise £60,000 in total. Visit www.indeepship.com/charity for more information and go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/indeepship to donate.