• STV
  • MySTV

Scot in record-breaking Atlantic crossing for Alzheimer's

Elaine Hopley is the fastest woman to cross the Atlantic solo in 'world's toughest row'.

Endurance: Elaine Hopley rowed across in a boat named after her mother.
Endurance: Elaine Hopley rowed across in a boat named after her mother. Press Association

A Scots mother has rowed her way into the record books with a history-making solo crossing of the Atlantic.

Elaine Hopley, 45, from Dunblane in Stirlingshire, arrived in Antigua on Sunday after spending nearly two months at sea competing in the 2000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Her time of 59 days, 19 hours and 14 minutes makes her the fastest woman to cross the Atlantic solo in the 30-year history of the race, dubbed the world's toughest row.

Ms Hopley, an experienced endurance athlete, was raising money for Alzheimer Scotland and rowed across in a boat named after her mother, Jan.

She said: "It was totally epic. It was unlike anything I could have ever imagined.

"There were some terrifying thunderstorms where lightning bolts were incredibly close to the boat, but I pulled on through.

"It was definitely hard being away from my family over Christmas and New Year and seeing them all here today is just fantastic."

The outdoor instructor had previously won the inaugural Women's Scottish mountain bike cross country series and repeatedly defended her title during the 1990s.

She also completed solo rides between Land's End and John O'Groats, and throughout Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

Before setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 14, Ms Hopley said her mother would play an important part in inspiring her crossing.

She said: "I love adrenaline sports and it has always been a goal and dream to cross an ocean, that for years has remained unfulfilled, as I have needed to support my mother who was diagnosed with dementia.

"I feel the need to raise funds for this little understood disease and this crossing is dedicated to her."

During her race, Ms Hopley battled the elements, even rowing through "blood rain" which included sand from the Sahara.

Her sons Guy and Harvey turned seven and nine, respectively, during her time at sea.

The overall race winners were Anglo-American quartet Latitude 35, who broke the race record to finish in just under 36 days.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.