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Former pupil set for epic rowing challenge

July 13th, 2020

A Monmouth woman will be attempting to break two world records in a gruelling row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Nia Hunter, pictured above, left) is planning to raise money for two charities – Mind UK and Wellbeing of Women.

Nia, a former pupil at Monmouth School for Girls, will be taking on the remarkable test alongside her university friend, Miriam Payne, as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December 2022.

“I completed both my GCSEs and A levels at Monmouth School for Girls and it was at Monmouth that I learned to row,” recalled Nia, whose parents Stephen and Eithne Hunter live in the town.

“I really fell in love with the sport in Monmouth and joined my university rowing team when I left to study Physics at the University of Glasgow.

“This project is about more than just crossing the ocean. We have a long road ahead before we can even start to think about the challenges we will face out on the Atlantic.

“To me, this is an incredible chance to raise money for causes I care strongly about, do something amazing with the sport that has become such a huge part of my life, and learn a lot of new things along the way. Who knows, we might even see some dolphins.”

Nia attended Monmouth School for Girls from 2014 to 2018, while her 17-year-old brother is in the Sixth Form at Monmouth School for Boys.

Nia and Miriam, who lives in Market Weighton in East Yorkshire, will be embarking on an incredible journey of more than 3,000 nautical miles.

The current record for a female pair crossing the Atlantic is 50 days, five hours, 53 mins.

“We are attempting two world records in the process – for the youngest and fastest female pair to ever make the crossing,” said Nia.

“The crossing must be unaided so we cannot accept repairs, food, or water once the race has started.

“We will navigate, maintain our boat, and ensure our survival from the start of the race in La Gomera to the end in Antigua.”

Nia admitted that she had got on board with the challenge as soon as Miriam mooted the idea.

“On the way back from training one day, Miriam told a group of us about the Atlantic Challenge and asked if anyone would like to join her,” said Nia

“I was interested from the off, and when we discovered we wouldn’t be able to convince more of our boat club pals to join us, we were determined to take on the challenge as a pair because nobody should do something that crazy alone.

“We must start the race with everything that we need for the crossing.

“Battling 40ft waves, sleep deprivation, and salt sores, our minds and bodies will be put to the ultimate test.”

For more details about the challenge, please visit: or follow @seastheday2022 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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