The Norfolk BrOARds

So what happens when a business analyst, a councillor and a postie decide to row an ocean together?

We don’t know either, but in 2019 we’re going to find out!

Three members of the King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club decided to do just that. Helen Hogan, Sandra Squire & Kate Palmer have entered the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge under the team name of “The Norfolk brOARds“.

Billed as “The World’s Toughest Row”, the 3000 mile race will take them from La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua. The three ladies will experience everything from huge waves, tropical storms, sleep deprivation, salt sores and blisters in a rowing boat seven metres long and under two metres wide. More people have climbed Everest than have rowed the Atlantic.

So what makes three Norfolk ladies decide to take on such an extreme challenge? Getting a definitive answer is difficult, Sandra, the designated team skipper, is not unused to signing up for extreme challenges, she is due to join the GREAT Britain yacht for the final leg of this years Clipper Round The World Yacht Race in June, explains – “we all share the same attitude to life really; that life is short and precious and that we should make the absolute most of every opportunity we’re given. We want to prove that ordinary people can do amazing, extraordinary things, that anything is possible.”

Incredibly, the trio only joined the King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club last year. Chairman Bob Panrucker says “These three rowers make their club proud and a real inspiration to anyone who has ever thought ‘I wonder if I could’ or ‘I wish I’d…’ ”

It is said that getting to the start line is the hardest part of the race, as the requirements for entrants are very stringent. An ocean rowing boat can cost upwards of £60,000 alone with total race costs estimated at over £100,000, which the trio are expecting to raise through sponsorship. The team believe they are the first team to enter the race from Norfolk, so are hoping to use it as an opportunity to promote Norfolk to a global audience of over 80 million people. The ladies are offering adventurous companies the chance to get involved and support their campaign by providing sponsorship in exchange for various promotional opportunities with the team.

The trio will also be using their challenge to raise money for charity, but are not in a position to announce which their chosen charities will be at the moment.

To launch their campaign to the start line and beyond and to celebrate International Women’s Day, the ladies will be holding their first Facebook Live session on Thursday 8th March at 7.30pm. They will be introducing themselves, talking about the race ahead and their reasons for signing up. Questions are invited and can be emailed in advance to: or sent through the link on their Facebook page: @Norfolkbroards.

Notes to Editors:

The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is an annual race that attracts teams from all over the world. Further race information available at:

Once teams cross the start line, they are entirely self sufficient for the duration of the crossing, although there are two Atlantic Campaigns support yachts that follow the race fleet in case of emergency.

Teams must all complete certain mandatory training requirements on such topics as ocean rowing, navigation, first aid, sea survival etc.

Teams must carry enough food onboard for 90 days, although the current race record for a ladies trio team is 60 days, 18 hours & 34 mins. (2017 race record – Atlantic Ladies)

Helen Hogan is a Business Analyst

Sandra Squire is a Borough & County Councillor

Kate Palmer is a Postie with Royal Mail


Facebook & Twitter: @Norfolkbroards


Sandra Squire: 07817 160725

Helen Hogan: 07967 828529

Kate Palmer: 07876 215666

Bob Panrucker: 07803 164883

Author: Bob Panrucker

"If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as - simply messing around in boats!"

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