St. Johns, Antigua, (July 25, 2023) – In an extraordinary feat of courage and determination, Team Antigua Island Girls, an exceptional all-female rowing team from Antigua and Barbuda, and the first all-female, black team to row across the Atlantic Ocean, have achieved another momentous victory, that is being celebrated across the twin-island Caribbean nation, known for its tropical climate, turquoise waters and sailing culture.
On July 23, 2023, Team Antigua Island Girls successfully navigated and rowed across the treacherous expanse of the Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water in the world, in support of a noble cause. Their awe-inspiring endeavour, which saw the girls spend forty-one days at sea for the inaugural 2023 Pacific Challenge, has not only demonstrated the power of women’s strength and resilience but also raised funds for building a home for vulnerable girls in need.
Comprising remarkable athletes Christal Clashing, Kevinia Francis, and Samara Emmanuel, Team Antigua Island Girls set forth on their mission to profoundly impact young lives. Their dedication and unwavering spirit aimed to raise funds for a charitable cause: building a home for women in conflict with the law, providing them with a second chance in life and fostering women’s empowerment.
Rowing an astonishing distance of approximately 2,800 nautical miles across the Pacific, in ‘the world’s toughest row’, their journey began in Monterey Bay, California, and culminated in Kauai, Hawaii. Among fourteen teams, the Team Antigua Island Girls emerged as true champions, exemplifying the solidarity and strength of women alongside their fellow all-women team, Row Aurora.
“Through our efforts, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of women empowerment and provide a brighter future for young girls who deserve a second chance in life,” said Kevinia Francis, representing the Team Antigua Island Girls.
The triumph of Team Antigua Island Girls has garnered widespread admiration, with notable figures expressing their pride and support. Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation and Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, commended the team stating, “Their dedication to raising funds for young girls in need is truly honourable, and they are a shining example of the positive impact that sports and women’s empowerment can have on our society”.
Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, also applauded the Island Girls’ efforts, emphasizing that their participation in the Pacific Challenge showcases the indomitable spirit of their nation. He added, “We applaud their commitment to supporting young girls in difficult circumstances and admire their determination to represent Antigua and Barbuda on the international stage”.
As witnesses to their triumph and advocates for their cause, we are urged to support the Island Girls and their noble mission. Together, we can make a difference and turn the tides of compassion and generosity, steering young women towards a future filled with hope, opportunity, and empowerment.
To learn more about Team Antigua Island Girls or to contribute to their cause, please visit their GoFundMe page (https://bit.ly/island-girls) or make direct contributions to the Caribbean Union Bank account #20004631 in St. John’s, Antigua.
Join us in celebrating the victory of Team Antigua Island Girls and the positive change they are creating for vulnerable girls in need. Together, we can be part of this inspiring journey towards a brighter future for all.