An Improbable Journey: British Rower Lia Ditton Sets World Record

Amidst a pandemic, 40-year-old British ocean rower Aurelia “Lia” Ditton, a multi-talented yachtswoman, became the fastest woman ever to row from the United States’ mainland en route to Hawaii. It took 86 days, 14 days less than prior record-holder “Roz” Savage. This brave, uplifting adventure was the “greatest psychological challenge of [her] life,” according to an interview with Sky News.

Row Lia Row

Photo of Lia Ditton Rowing by Ken Watts, Deep at Sea.Lia Ditton, who doubles as a motivational speaker and a conceptual artist, is an inspiration to us all. She’s a walking definition of “resolve”—something the world desperately needs right now. Fans can help fund Ditton’s adventures, which includes a variety of perks, such as signed thank you cards, limited edition key rings, a signed copy of her book (50 Water Adventures to Do before You Die), and state-of-the-art sunglasses. Ditton also plans to become the first woman to successfully row from Japan to San Francisco, California, and supporters can help fund the journey by purchasing “slices of history.” In Ditton’s corner is a multitude of specialists, including a weather router, psychologist, coach, and team organizer (among many others).

Lia Ditton’s 86-Day Adventure

Photo of Lia Ditton's Arrival in Waikiki by Wes Young.At RowLiaRow.com, Ditton provided extensive periodic updates of her journey from San Francisco to the Waikiki Yacht Club, across the channel from Prince Waikiki. Her accounts are quite simply hair-raising and undeniably triumphant. In her accounts, she wrote about shark attacks, gnarly waves, sleep deprivation, stargazing, and getting capsized. It’s a novel-length account that needs to be read to be believed. The 86-day-, 10-hour-, five-minute-, and 56-second expedition will no doubt go down in history as one of the world’s greatest individual feats. Perhaps the most powerful excerpt from Ditton’s virtual “journal” is in her final post, where she ultimately reaches the Yacht Club:

“I crouch while tying the lines. I know from experience not to stand yet. Then strangely I feel the desire to climb back on my boat, my island, my sanctuary. I am not quite ready for land.” 

Moments later, Lia Ditton places gifted leis around her neck. Eighty. Six. Days. She made it.

Proudly Sponsored by Prince Waikiki

Prince Waikiki is proud to sponsor Lia Ditton, one of the most inspirational people on the planet. It’s no coincidence that her strenuous, record-breaking, 86-day journey finished across the harbor at the Waikiki Yacht Club (another core sponsor). The Prince team has been “believers” since day one and will continue to sponsor her future endeavors, including the aforementioned trek from Japan to San Francisco. To “Learn with Lia” and become a “Believer,” please visit her website.

Photos courtesy of Ken Watts (top) and Wes Young (bottom)