Paralympian Angela Madsen to Skipper Eight Person Crew in Attempt to Row Across Indian Ocean

Dec. 16, 2008, 1:50 p.m. (ET)
U.S. Paralympian Angela Madsen (Long Beach, Calif.) has been selected to skipper an eight person crew that will attempt to row across the Indian Ocean in April 2009.  Madsen and her crew will begin their journey from Geraldton, Western Australia and row 3,100 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean to Port St. Louis, Mauritius.

"I hope to have a safe crossing and to make it a positive experience for the rest of the crew.  I also expect to set some records along the way, including a speed record for crossing the Indian Ocean," said Madsen.  The current speed record of 64 days was set back in 1971.

Madsen, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a breast cancer survivor, is also looking to break three other records.  If successful, she will become not just the first woman with a physical disability to row across the Indian Ocean, but the first woman ever to do so.  Additionally, if the team makes it to Mauritius, it will become the first-ever 8-man crew to row across any ocean.    

"More than 30 applicants submitted their names to be considered for this crew.  I'm truly astonished that I was not only selected to be a part of this event, but I was asked to be the skipper of the boat, as well," said Madsen.  "It's a gratifying feeling to know I'm being seen for my ability and experience and not being overlooked because of any physical limitation I might have."

Madsen became the first woman with a physical disability to successfully row across the Atlantic Ocean in 2007.  She and a partner completed that crossing in 66 days, 23 hours and 24 minutes.  Most recently, Madsen represented the United States at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, where rowing made its Paralympic Games debut.

For more information on Madsen, the crew and the Indian Ocean crossing, visit Row of Life.