When an Austrian woman went on an Antarctic expedition and returned with 10 Guinness World Records, she accomplished a remarkable feat. 31-year-old Lisa Farthofer became the first woman to row on the Southern Ocean after enduring bitter cold, frostbite, and sleep deprivation while rowing 407 nautical miles (753.7 km) on open waters in Antarctica from January 11 to 17. She is the first female rower to cross uncharted Arctic waters.
Professional sailors and rowers Fiann Paul (Iceland), Mike Matson (USA), Jamie Douglas-Hamilton (UK), Stefan Ivanov (Bulgaria), and Brian Krauskopf participated in an expedition with Lisa (USA).
The team, which was travelling in the rowing boat Mrs. Chippy, set out to row 1,500 km (932 m) from the Antarctic Peninsula, past Elephant Island, and to South Georgia, according to the record book. They were following in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they travelled from Elephant Island to South Georgia in 1915.
Lisa and the guys had to end their mission at the halfway point due to illness and injury among the crew.
The GWR report notes that the group’s journey’s abrupt end “did not stop them from earning an impressive string of Guinness World Records titles.”
They obtained eight records collectively, which are:
- First human-powered expedition in the Southern Ocean
- Fastest row on the Southern Ocean
- First human-powered expedition on the Scotia Sea
- First human-powered expedition from the Antarctic
- Fastest Polar row
- Longest distance rowed on the Southern Ocean
- First human-powered expedition on the Southern Ocean (South to North)
- Southernmost start of a rowing expedition
These eight records were obtained by every man on this expedition, while the superwoman from Austria obtained a total of 10 Guinness World Records.