A ROWER from Malvern spent Christmas Day eating reindeer stew in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Lara Vafiadis, 33, is currently making her way across the seas as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Beginning earlier in December, the race sees participants attempt to row more than 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua and Barbuda.
Like any good Christmas Day, Ms Vafiadis’ did not come without its drama as she woke up to a power problem rather than a stocking.
“Waking up on Christmas morning to a complete power failure was not the best start, but I managed to sort it out and know now what not to charge at night,” she said.
“It felt very odd to be away from family at Christmas. Talking to them on the phone was hard but I know it won’t be long until I see them at the finish.
“Presents-wise, I had a few cards and some little gifts to make my journey better – chocolate, skincare items and a digital photo frame that had been loaded with so many different photos from my boyfriend… but mainly of my dog.”
Ms Vafiadis joined Matt Garman, Steve Woolley, and Neil Furminger to complete the challenge (Image: PA)
Ms Vafiadis has joined the Ocean Dadventure crew, made up of Steve Woolley, Neil Furminger and Matt Garman, to complete the challenge in aid of several charities, including Prostate Cancer UK.
Her journey took on extra significance when her father, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer six years ago, died just weeks before she began her row.
“I’ve found being away from home and my mum incredibly hard, as I know how much this first Christmas without my dad is affecting her,” she said.
“The past two weeks being on this boat alone all I’ve done is think of him. I talk to him, especially when rowing at night, and I have to hope he can hear me somewhere.
“When I’ve had a problem he’s always on my mind, telling me to take a step back and reassess everything, which always helps.”
To find out more about the crew and the charities they are raising money for, visit http://www.givestar.io/basecamp/fundraiser-campaign/A44Z65S and http://www.oceandadventure.com/donate/.