History made in the Maldives by Olympic Rower


On the 30th March at 9:25am Guin Batten became the first person to row solo cross the Zero Degree Channel in the Maldives.

She arrived on the north shore of the Island Atoll Fuamulak after an incident packed 7hours and 16 minutes of rowing, to be greeted by a crowd of school children, locals and officials.

Guin outlined the success of the crossing by stating “the local support was amazing, everywhere we went the local people welcomed us with piles of food, traditional dancing and rowing races”. Talking about the reception in Vadhoo, Guin said “the local women cooked from their own kitchens a spread of food fit for kings, which provided us with a perfect send off”.

In Fuamulak the three support boats and the 40 strong crossing team were greeted by over 300 people. Lucy Johnson, one of the medical team “after such a long night it was lovely to we so warmly welcomed by a sea of smiling faces.”

Before returning to Thinadhoo, the support team travelled to Gadhdhoo to meet with the female rowing crews, who are renowned for their skill. A few of the women tried Guin’s rowing boat and Guin commented that she was so “impressed with how quickly the women adapted to the sliding seat”.

In planning the event the team have worked closely with the Rowing Association of the Maldives to build a 5 year plan to revive rowing in the Maldives by developing it into a healthy sport for the local community. If we don’t act now the traditional skills of moving boats across the water will be lost forever.