Bristol University student buoyed by support in her bid to row the Pacific solo

23 January 2014, News

Elsa Hammond, the University of Bristol student who will be competing in the inaugural Great Pacific Race in June, has been buoyed by the support she has had from sponsors.

She has so far raised some £20,000 towards building the boat she will row in for some three months across the Pacific. Donations have come in sterling and Bitcoin, the new currency making all the news. Organisations who have committed financial support to date include the University of Bristol, IT and mobile solutions provider, Excalibur, MBA Polymers, and the Hatfield Trust. They are joined by a number of personal donors.

Next week (Tuesday 28th January) she will officially launch her bid to row solo across the Pacific at a business event at the M-Shed in the presence of Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson, Judith Squires, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bristol, Chris Martin, the director of the Great Pacific Race and Jo Ruxton, Founder of Plastic Oceans Foundation, the charity that will benefit from Elsa’s attempt.

The race will start on 7th June 2014 from Monterey Bay, in California, and participants, including Elsa, will row some 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Rowing for up to 16 hours a day, Elsa and fellow contestants will face a number of challenges, including spending up to 3 months without any human contact. Elsa is the only solo female participant in the race from the UK.

By taking part Elsa hopes to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the oceans around the world. The race will take participants near the ‘great Pacific garbage patch’, the world’s biggest landfill.

Elsa’s campaign manager, Steve Bullock, says: “We have been overwhelmed by the support to date both in terms of giving money and equipment, as well as time in such areas as marketing and PR. We have made a great start and now need to keep the momentum going so that we can reach our target of £100,000.

Chris Lawrance, Managing Director at JBP PR, which is supporting Elsa’s fundraising campaign said: “It’s great to see the community come together to support Elsa and the race represents an excellent opportunity for companies to get involved in an initiative which will gain international exposure. It will be an amazing achievement and great publicity for Bristol as well as for those that get behind Elsa’s attempt.”

A number of other local organisations have provided support in promoting Elsa’s bid including Stuff Advertising, Low Carbon South West and Business West.

For more information on Elsa’s bid please visit, follow her on Twitter @ElsaAHammond and Like her Facebook page.

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