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  • Gareth Crook

Losing Sight of Shore (2017)

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

The open ocean fascinates me. That big sheet that is the visible surface and the unexplored, vast void beneath. If I’m honest, it scares me too. So this... this I find incredible. Four women rowing unsupported across the Pacific from the US to Australia. That’s 8579 miles.... eight thousand five hundred and seventy nine miles! Rowing. These people are nuts! They’re also bloody amazing. They talk about being petrified and fascinated on Day 1 at spotting a whale, I think petrified and fascination sums this up quite well. Things go wrong, with false starts and damaged equipment, that pushes their mental strength to the limit. But in the words of their friend who this adventure is in honour of “What do you do when things get difficult? Just keep going”. Aside some stuff shot on land, talking about the preparation, it’s all self shot which makes it feel really personal. When a tropical storm hits 400 miles away from Hawaii on Day 57, the camera shakes with a ferocity that would terrify an action film director. The equator looks like a bonkers place, weird weather, weird light, killer currents. It looks to be some of the harshest conditions, as they lose miles rather than gain, but there’s no respite. 2 hours rowing, 2 hours rest, repeat, over and over. They are absolute machines! but the humour and mental fortitude is incredible and keeps them going. It takes much longer than planned, over 250 days, even to the point of running out of food, losing power. How they don’t just break as the final push closes in is remarkable. The whole thing is magnificent, but as is said towards the end of the film, “It’s not about the finish, it’s about the journey”.

8/10


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