Kiko Matthews rowed into the history books in March having set a new world record for rowing solo across the Atlantic. Matthews arrived to a hero’s welcome in Barbados having completed the 3000 mile single-handed, un-supported journey in a remarkable 49 days, smashing the previous record by ten days.
Matthews (36) born and raised in Herefordshire, UK, only learned to row last year. Rowing her 21ft boat Soma of Essex for up to 16 hours a day for seven weeks and sleeping in two hour shifts, Matthews dealt with massive waves, sharks, and blisters on her hands and feet. Acting as her own doctor, mechanic, skipper, friend and worst enemy, she triumphed in one of the toughest physical and mental challenges known to man. Only five women have previously completed the journey solo.
In completing the challenge, Matthews has so far raised over £70,000, of her target of £100,000, for King’s College Hospital Intensive Care Unit who twice removed a brain tumor from her. In 2009, she was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, a rare condition that made climbing stairs impossible. The tumor on her pituitary gland caused severe memory loss, psychosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, insomnia and muscle wastage. The second was removed in August 2017 whilst she was in training for the Atlantic crossing.
“The thought that eight months ago I was lying in hospital having my brain operated on and now I am here having rowed the Atlantic, I guess I am a bit proud. I have shown that anyone can attempt anything given the right attitude, belief, and support,” says Matthews, adding, “I want to use my story to inspire women to challenge themselves.”
All At Sea will publish a full-length interview with Kiko Matthews in the June edition. If you can’t wait that long and would like to learn more about this remarkable woman and her voyage or perhaps support her fundraising, visit: www.kikomatthews.co.uk