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Elsa’s amazingly big Pacific challenge!

elsa1Bristol is proud to be waving good bye to resident Elsa Hammond as she sets sail for the biggest adventure of her life.

In June next year, Elsa Hammond will be embarking on an epic 2,400 mile row across the Pacific Ocean as part of the Great Pacific Race. She will be rowing the mammoth journey solo, and in fact as the only solo female entrant from the UK.

She will depart from Monterey Bay in California and arrive in Hawaii. Rowing for 16 hours per day, Elsa aims to beat the current women’s record of 99 days.

Elsa is not only partaking in this ‘oar’ inspiring challenge (sorry) for her own achievement and fitness; she is actively campaigning and raising awareness for The Plastics Ocean Foundation. Through social media, blogging and other publicity, Elsa will raise awareness of the devastating effect of plastic pollution upon our oceans.

Plastic has become an inescapable and prolific part of everyday living. Shockingly, 50% of the plastic we use receives one use before it is binned (The Plastics Ocean Foundation). To put it in perspective, our plastic use over the last 10 years is more than the rest of the century. All of this plastic waste has to go somewhere and unfortunately, our oceans bear the brunt.

Such production of plastic has adverse effects on energy, economics, the environment and human health. Making plastic is hugely energy consuming, guzzling about 8% of global oil production. The threat of plastic to fishing, shipping and tourism costs an extortionate $1.27 billion annually (McIlgorm et al, 2008). Many species are threatened by entanglement or ingestion of plastic, and plastic particles have known negative effects on human health.

By supporting The Plastic Ocean Foundation, Elsa will be helping them work towards solutions and problems to overcome the problems associated with plastic waste.

Elsa is being supported by the University of Bristol, as she is a PhD student there, and Bristol’s Mayor George Ferguson has pledged his support too.

We wish her the best of luck on her oarsome adventure!

If you would like to learn more or sponsor Elsa, visit www.elsahammond.com

Danielle Jackson

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