Last Push
Photo Credit: Leanne Maiden/Instagram

Leanne Maiden is just a few hundred nautical miles away from becoming the first South African woman to complete the World’s Toughest Row!


Global (13 February 2024) — This morning Leanne Maiden shared an awesome update with her fans and supporters—she is only a few hundred nautical miles away from making history as the first South African woman to complete the World’s Toughest Row. This is the last push!

Initially a whopping distance of nearly 5000 kilometres ahead of her in December, Leanne has made incredible strides. If you’ve been following Leanne’s journey across the Atlantic, you know that it has not come without tremendous challenges. But, in true South African grit, Leanne has overcome everything from salty tears to work-related stress, running out of hot water, rowing into tough winds, sleep deprivation and everything else that comes with the World’s Toughest Row.

Two recent moments marked silver linings of strength for this incredible woman—finding a can of peaches after she thought she had run out, and seeing hope in the sky after noticing an aeroplane.

The aeroplane was particularly significant, as it signalled her first visual indication of being close to land.

“In four days time my family will be flying over in one of those aeroplanes to come and meet me,” she shared in an update. 

With under 200 nautical miles left ahead of her, Leanne’s odyssey is almost at its end and she will soon join other South African legends who made it past their last push, like Peet Botma.

But the last push calls for louder support, and that’s where we know we can count on South Africans! (And in Leanne’s case, Scotland folks too!).

Leanne is rowing not just to make two countries proud (South Africa, her heart and Scotland her home), but also to support three charities: The Mabel Foundation who are the heroes fighting against period poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Women’s Fun Scotland (grassroots programme focused) and The Polar Academy (child-focused).

Beyond these, she also hopes to inspire her children and ‘ordinary people’ (as she inaccurately refers to herself) to do ambitious, crazy things.

Go, Leanne!

Sources: Fair Winds and Following Seas; Leanne Maiden 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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