Atlantic Rower Julia interviewed at evening services

    Sunday, 12 February 2012: 9.41pm

    Atlantic rower Julia Immonen was interviewed by Vicar Nicky Gumbel at HTB's evening services today.

    The HTB member spoke of her 3,000-mile journey as part of a five-woman team which arrived in Barbados last month after rowing across the Atlantic.

    They embarked on the voyage to highlight the horrors of human trafficking and slavery. They broke two world records, becoming:

    *The first five-female crew to row the Atlantic

    *The fastest female crew ever to row an ocean

    Julia said, 'It's only been a couple of weeks since we got back and it is overwhelming now to be with all these people when we were so isolated.'

    The trip had been fraught with one disaster after another, she explained. 'Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Everything that could break, broke.

    'The most frightening thing was the 45 foot waves. We learned to take each day as it comes. I was praying all the time. It was literally a 24-hour conversation with God throughout the trip.'

    They were taking part in a race and ended up coming in fourth place out of 17 competitors in the transatlantic race. Six of the competitors had to be rescued.

    She said, 'If it inspires others to go on and make a difference, it will be worth it. Our dream is as simple as to see slavery abolished - but it is going to take an army of William Wilberforces to do it. I believe we can do it.

    'If God has put something on your heart, go for it. He will see you through.'