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The Girls Team

Team name: Seagals

Boat name: Go Commando (length 24 feet)

YouTube Channel: SeaGalsRow

Twitter: @SeaGalsRow

Facebook: SeaGals Row


Team Members:


Belinda Kirk (Skipper)

Age: 34, From: Bristol, Job: Expedition organiser and TV producer

Education: Redmaids School, Bristol. Lived on Alderney in the Channel Islands until age 14 where she learned to row. Studied biology at Oxford.

It was Belinda's dream to be among the first women ever to row round Britain when last February she heard the amazing story of how four men set a world record for taking a rowing boat around the UK in just 26 days.

Then she discovered a race was being planned for the summer and she had just four months to find a boat and put together a crew.

Belinda has actually travelled around the whole of the UK's 2,000mile coastline in a helicopter − filming shots for the BBC TV show, Coast.

She says: “Back in February I heard about how four men had rowed round the UK and I thought I'd love to have a go at that and then when I learned there was a race I wondered if I could find a boat and three women mad enough to come with me.

“We have a fantastic team and we're looking forward to the most amazing challenge to become the first women in history to row around this beautiful country.”


Angela Madsen (Navigator and rower)

Age: 50, From: Long Beach California, Job: Teaches disabled people to row

Education: Educated in Xenia, Ohio. Single parent who joined US Marine Corps to help make ends meet.

Medically discharged from the military age 20 after injuring her spine in a basketball accident, playing for the US Marines women's basketball team.

Thirteen later years later a botched operation on her spine left her as a wheelchair-bound paraplegic.

After two years of being depressed, Angela began surfing again by lying down backwards on the board and later she took up rowing.

In 2007 she successfully rowed across the Atlantic spending 67 days in a tiny boat with a Frenchman who spoke no English and she doesn't speak French.

The following year she rowed for the USA in the Paraplegic Olympics. And last year she was in a team of four that rowed from Australia across the Indian Ocean to Mauritius.


Laura Thomasson (Medic and rower)

Age 23, From: Kingsdown, near Dover, Job: Royal Navy nurse

Education: Dover. Took up rowing at 13 and is a member of Dover rowing club.

Royal Navy nurse Laura is waiting to be posted soon to Afghanistan. She has twice represented the Royal Navy at The World Indoor Rowing Championships. 

She has also coxed crews rowing across the English Channel and taken part in charity endurance races including the London Southampton run in aid of the 'Not forgotten' association.

Laura says: “I have been rowing since I was 13 and when I heard about this race I applied and was told it was for men only. Then I learned a female crew was being put together and I knew I had to be in the boat”.


Beverley Ashton (rower)

Age 29, From Wantage, Oxfordshire, Job: IT support manager

Education: St Joseph Swan Comprehensive, Gateshead. UMIST Manchester.

Became hooked on rowing at university. Member of Agecroft Rowing Club, Salford.

Brave Bev stepped into the Seagal's crew with just two weeks to go after one member pulled out for personal reasons.

Although she has rowed for 10 years, she has never been in a rowing boat at sea. Her only experience has been on rivers and canals.

Married for four years to medical researcher, Martin, her husband encouraged her to join the all-girl team.

Bev says: “While I was considering whether to join Martin had already made up his mind that I should go. Life is for living to the full.”

Go Commando

Two of the Seagals training in Go Commando at Gosport