Rower Keeps Making Waves…Rowing Across Oceans!!!
Long Beach, Ca
If you take Roworx Rowing Classes at 6:30pm with Jack Nunn at the Boathouse (5750 Boathouse Lane, Marine Stadium) you have probably had the pleasure in meeting Angela Madsen or watching her go by as I tell class her amazing story. She is a true inspiration of the will to live life without limits!!! If you have not had the pleasure of hearing her story… here it is:
Angela Madsen of Long Beach became part of the first all-female team to row around Great Britain nonstop and unaided on July 23, 2010.
Fifteen years ago, Madsen, 50, could not imagine completing such a feat. After sustaining a back injury in the Marines, she underwent a surgery that did not go as expected. During the operation, her spinal cord was punctured.
A previously vibrant athlete, Madsen was left partially paralyzed, using a wheelchair and feeling hopeless. “I gave up on everything,” she said. “I thought I’d never be able to do anything.”
Madsen lost her job in engineering due to months she was in the hospital. Soon, she was homeless. When a doctor told her that her condition was a “waste of human life,” her fighting spirit kicked in.
“It was my choice to either sit there or move positively into the future,” she said. She then decided to get back into sports, and her strength and self confidence grew. When a freind on a wheelchair basketball team introduced her to rowing she was a natural.
Madsen went on to compete in the Paralympics and a women’s surf championship in France. She rowed across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, becoming a Guinness World Record Holder in the process. For the Great Britain row, the four-woman Haigh Lyon Seagals spent 51 days in a 24-foot boat. They traded shifts: two hours rowing, two hours resting, 24 hours a day. They lived on dehydrated food and desalinated water. In addition to returning to competitive sports, Madsen also founded the California Adaptive Rowing Program (CARP) located at the Long Beach Rowing Association Boathouse (LBRA), where she teaches people with a range of conditions from blindness to Alzheimer’s to row. Madsen often speaks at schools and churches. Her message? No matter how bad the circumstances, don’t let them fully dictate the future. She’s living proof. “Once, I would have said, “No, I can’t do that,” she said, “Now, I allow myself to try.”
More about the Indian Ocean Race 2009
From: Angela Madsen
The first ever ocean rowing race in the Southern Hemisphere has captured peoples imaginations around the World.
The race starts in Geraldton, Western Australia and forms part of a week of maritime celebrations. The local fishing fleet will escort the rowing boats away from the coastline and past a reef system some 60 miles off shore. The route will take teams over 3000 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean to the paradise island of Mauritius.
Teams from all over the World will compete on equal terms in solo, pair and four person teams. The start of the race is planned for April 2009 to miss the cyclone season that ends in between February and March. Fours teams should complete the crossing in around 60 days and pairs should be completed in around 80 days.
As ocean rowing races have proven in the past – the speed of crossing could increase dramatically as soon as teams are pitched in race classes against each other.
The weather won’t be the same as the constant trade conditions of the mid-Atlantic. Teams will have to row every mile with a lower amount of support from both wind and currents. The temperatures will be high – especially close to Australia but then should cool as the race unfolds.
There is far less shipping in the Indian Ocean than in the Atlantic. There is less pollution and the wildlife is simply out of this World! Sharks, whales and dolphins will be common sight. Birdlife is ever present, shoals of fish will follow the boats, and the night time sky will be breathtaking.
The Indian Ocean Rowing Race will be the adventure of a lifetime.
More about Angela Madsen
She is a US Rowing level III rowing coach and has been a member of the U.S. National Adaptive Rowing Team Member since 2002 Rowing in this years Paralympics in Beijing China.
Read more about Angela on the Disabled World website.
Also watch this video to get a better idea of the design of the boat that was used by Angela when she crossed some of her Ocean Rows.