TWO friends who had never rowed before are preparing to cross the Atlantic later this year in an endurance race.

Sabrina Faith and Leanne Maiden met online over lockdown while looking for a new challenge and are now training to row 3000 miles from La Gomera in the Canaries to Antigua in the Caribbean this December.

There are no stops on the Atlantic Challenge race and the duo will rotate between rowing, eating and sleeping for the duration of the journey, which is expected to be at least 60 days.

The pair will row two hours on, two hours off and will be facing sleep deprivation, salt sores, physical extremes and the psychological challenges of the open ocean.

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The duo will be raising money for three charities: The Polar Academy UK, The Women’s Fund for Scotland and The Mabel Foundation.

Faith is a Stirling-based pilates teacher who moved to Scotland from Canada in 1999 while Maiden, based in Bearsden, is an osteopath who moved from South Africa in 2003.

Maiden, 41, who has two sons, Blair, 6 and Ruaridh, 7, said: “People keep asking if this is a mid-life crisis. I’m not sure if that’s the case but whatever it is, it will be a life-changing experience.

“Few mums can say they’ve rowed the Atlantic Ocean! I want to teach my children that it’s ok to do things differently and to challenge perceptions and reach for their dreams.

“I will miss my family. I’ve never been away from them for that long. But my husband will look after them and make sure they don’t starve.”

She added the pair “can’t wait” for the moment they arrive in Antigua.

The National: The pair need to rack up 100 hours on the waterThe pair need to rack up 100 hours on the water (Image: Wolfcraig Distillers)

The team have dubbed themselves “She rOars” have received words of encouragement from TV personality and former SAS commando, Aldo Kane, who completed the same race in a four-man crew in 2016.

He said: “Rowing the Atlantic was one of the hardest things I’ve done and it’s great these ladies are doing it for such a great cause, I wish them the very best in their upcoming challenges.”

More than 20 of the duo’s friends and families are expected to head to Antigua to show their support.

Faith, 43, is already no stranger to adventure having mushed a team of huskies across the Scandinavian Arctic, trekked to Everest Base Camp and trekked 300km of the Great Wall of China.

She said: “When I was back in Canada staying with my brother during lockdown, he told me he was training for an Iron Man.

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“There’s a bit of sibling rivalry between us so I wanted to outdo him. I found out about the Atlantic challenge, and I started looking online to find a team, which is how I met Leanne.

“This is an opportunity to feel strong both physically and mentally, a chance to connect to something greater, a chance to remember the basic connection to our plane and universe.”

The pair launched their boat in Loch Lomond this week to begin their training regime during which they must bank over 100 hours on the water.