A group of intrepid explorers, known collectively as “The Mothership” have taken on ‘The Talisker Whisky Challenge’, described by some as “the world’s toughest row”, raising over £69,000 in the process! We caught up with two members of the crew, Felicity Ashley and Lebby Eyres, to tell us about their incredible feat!

The website for the Challenge cites ‘sleep deprivation, hallucinations and hunger’ as likely experiences for participants. Why on earth did you take it on?!

Felicity: We’re four busy, working mums, juggling careers and families. Whilst we all took on the challenge for slightly different reasons, we collectively wanted to inspire our eleven children and women of all ages. We hope we’ll inspire others to reach for the stars.

3,000 miles and six weeks later, tell us, was it as tough as it sounds?

Lebby: We had a brilliant time but it really was six weeks of brutality! At one point our water maker broke which meant we couldn’t convert seawater into drinking water. That was really stressful but thankfully we were able to fix it!”

Felicity: As difficult as the row was, I absolutely loved it. Not seeing our kids for so long was tough – there was the odd tear shed, especially on Christmas day.

Why did you decide to support Noah’s Ark?

Felicity: We were introduced to Noah’s Ark by Elaine Stern, who runs The 10 Group, an amazing marketing agency and big supporters of Noah’s Ark. We then visited The Ark, which gave us that “why” and spurred us on when we were out on the water.

Lebby: Our visit to The Ark was incredibly important, especially meeting the Noah’s Ark team – I was struck by the straightforward way they talked about life and death. I now have a real emotional connection with the cause.


You’ve raised an incredible amount…

Lebby: We raised a lot more than expected. Tritax and British Gas very generously sponsored all of our costs, meaning every penny we have raised has gone directly to our chosen causes.

Felicity: It really is incredible! As well as support from family and friends, we are so humbled by the amount donated from completely strangers who were inspired by our story.

A huge thanks to Felicity, Lebby and their crewmates Pippa and Jo. If you are inspired and would like to donate, head to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mothershipnoahsark