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Debra Searle smashes new record

29th August 2007

Debra Searle successfully navigated the Sisterhood to a new World Record, smashing the previous record for dragon boating across the English Channel by four hours.

The all-girl-crew, captained by Debra, completed the 21 mile route across the world’s busiest shipping lane in three hours, 45 minutes and 26 seconds, raising over £100,000 for charity.  They entered the record books as the first all-female team to complete this feat.

The Sisterhood had a number of early set backs to overcome including the loss of their helmswoman Kate Middleton, and another key member of the team, GB rider Alicia Fox-Pitt, to a horse riding accident only days before.

The girls took on an all-male team known as the Brotherhood who left Dover at the same time. Debra’s months of research into tidal vectors and the local conditions in the Dover Straits paid off as she navigated the girls on a near perfect course. The Brotherhood on the other hand went off on a flyer, traveling too far to the west, and ended up paddling up the coast against the tide. For the final 6 miles the girls paddled with all their might but were piped at the post by the boys, arriving at Wissant Beach, France, 12 minutes behind them. Not bad after 21 miles!

Read Debra’s race report in The Telegraph:  http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/debrasearle

Debra and her fellow Sisters will be featured in Hello! Magazine this coming Tuesday.

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