24 Sept 2022

Kilkenny native to become the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic tomorrow

Dr Karen Weekes to arrive in Barbados at approximately 5:30-7pm Irish time

Kilkenny native currently rowing her way into history by crossing the Atlantic solo

Dr Karen Weekes - Picture: Andreas Riemenschneider (@doorusphoto)

Dr. Karen Weekes, a solo rower from Kilkenny, is now only hours away from completing a record-breaking bid to be the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

After beginning her journey in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands on December 6 of last year, Karen is due to finish her journey in Barbados tomorrow.

Karen will be welcomed into bustling Bridgetown, Barbados, tomorrow as crowds will gather to cheer the Kilkenny woman on as she arrives into the port.

Thirty of Karen’s friends, family and colleagues flew over to Barbados with Aer Lingus at the weekend to witness and celebrate her achievement.

In true Bajan style, a welcome party will be organised to celebrate Karen’s arrival to Barbados and her achievement of becoming the first Irish female to row any ocean solo and the 20th female in the world to row an ocean solo.


Karen launched the #SHECANDO2021 campaign in conjunction with her record-breaking voyage.

The campaign aims to provide a platform for encouraging women, and girls, to push themselves outside their current comfort zone and to believe in their abilities to succeed both in their work and everyday lives.

In addition, the #SHECANDO2021 ethos aims to bring more females into the realm of adventure sports.

#SHECANDO2021 is a statement that anything is possible when you have self-belief, determination, strategic planning and the setting of progressive goals.

Further to that, Karen is using the mission as an opportunity to raise awareness of UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically those around gender equality and ocean conservation and sustainability.

You can show support for the #SHECANDO2021 campaign by donating to a recently set up GoFundMe page at the bottom of the ‘’ homepage.

The GoFundMe was set up to cover the costs associated with Karen’s mission but now all money raised will be donated to charitable organisations Laura Lynn and the RNLI.

Karen and her team would like to thank all the sponsors including Hanley Energy, Somex Automation, Munster Technological University, Kinvara Natural Skincare, Rowing Ireland, Jim McKee, Collin’s Campers and many more for helping to make this mission possible.

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