Record-breaking rower latest to sign up to campaign
World record-breaking ocean rower Claire Hughes is the latest to sign up to the Discover our Land campaign.
Claire, of Wylam, Northumberland, was part of Team Tyne Innovation who rowed across the Atlantic in January this year in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in just 42 days, smashing the previous record by a mixed team of four by 14 days.
The challenge saw her rowing 3,000 miles in often treacherous and difficult conditions much of it in darkness.
Having studied at Newcastle University Claire fell in love with the region and in particular Northumberland. She only took up rowing in 2012 when she joined her nearest club at Newburn and when the opportunity to be part of Team Tyne came up she jumped at the chance.
She said: “I hadn't done anything like this before but I love a challenge and an adventure.
"We were at sea for 42 days, and were rowing 12 hours a day on a two hours on, two hours off shift pattern. The most challenging part for me was rowing in the pitch black, it was very disorientating and frustrating but with the help of my team I managed to overcome my issues and actually grew to love it.
"By the half-way point of the race we knew we were close to breaking the record and when we came over the finishing line having broken the record by 14 days it was totally unreal.
“There was a huge crowd of people waiting to welcome us with people from home there as well. Now I've had time to think about it, I still can't believe, that little old me who only started rowing a few years ago, achieved this."
Claire’s love of the county’s landscape inspired her to get outdoors and try new challenges and she wants to share her passion for Northumberland through the Discover our Land campaign.
She said: “Northumberland is a massive adventure playground and it really inspires you to be outside and enjoy it. I am so proud to live in Northumberland and I am delighted to be supporting the Discover our Land campaign and helping to raise the profile of the county. There are so many exciting opportunities here and we need to let people know about them.
“It was the warmth of the people and the way of life here that led me to make Northhumberland my home.”
Discover our Land was launched in January by Northumberland County Council and aims to promote the county as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.
Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for Culture, Arts, Leisure and Tourism at the council, said: “It’s great to have Claire’s support for the campaign. Her story is one of true grit and determination, something that we in Northumberland are well known for. Her love and passion for Northumberland is something that will help to spread the message of Discover our Land far and wide.
To hear more about Claire’s story and how to get involved in the campaign go to www.discoverourland.co.uk/claire-hughes