Welcome to the Big Blue Projects website...
Welcome to the Big Blue Projects website... 

Atlantic Rowing

Atlantic Rowing


Rachel never excelled in sport at school, was genuinely the last to be picked for teams and in all honesty, isn't really designed for rowing! But her love of the water led to kayaking and a long career in top class dragon boat racing across the world.


Her introduction to ocean rowing came through dragon boat racing team-mate Debra Searle, who rowed the Atlantic solo. With Debra's encouragement, the idea of rowing an ocean was firmly planted.


In 2007, Rachel and her best friend Lin took on the challenge to row across the Atlantic Ocean. 76 days later, they stepped off the boat in Antigua, holding hands and still best friends! They've since been awarded a Guinness World Record for their achievement.


Rachel is an accomplished inspirational speaker who can draw on her sporting and business achievements to captivate audiences from schools to global corporates. To book Rachel as a speaker for your event, please contact her agent, Caroline Rose Managment.


Her book, Antigua or Bust is available on provides an honest and emotional journey as Rachel recounts the planning and preparation with its many ups and downs, before the pair faced 30-foot waves, extreme living conditions and wildlife with big teeth during their eleven weeks at sea together.


About Rachel...


Rachel lives in Chester and after 16 years working in financial services, took voluntary redundancy. She then spent time working on a variety of contracts as diverse as the UK Hydrographic office, The Prince's Trust, Chester Zoo, and a multi-million pound start up business - NextGear Capital. 


In 2015 she embarked on a new career and trained as a Paramedic, working fronline on an ambulace for 8 years, right through the pandemic. She also mentored student Paramedics. In 2023, she took the huge decision to leave the NHS and now splits her working week between training at all levels up to Paramedic for Outreach Rescue and in the maritime sector for Red Square Medical where she manages STCW training programs, marketing and medical operations for the cruise company.


She joined Cheshire Search and Rescue team as a volunteer in 2010 and is now an accredited Search Manager and a Trustee of the charity, heavily involved in its day to day running. 

Continually challenging herself by setting goals and with a desire to try new things, Rachel has a full motorcycle license and is an advanced driver. She is qualified to scuba dive, sail and drive a power boat. In her 'spare' time she enjoys surfing, horse riding, painting, cycling and walking.



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© Rachel Smith