Ravensbourne Fashion alumna sets sail on ‘world’s toughest challenge’

In Deep Ship team members
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Article by: David Millett

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BA (Hons) Fashion alumna Jess Goddard will put her high-flying career working for global brand Adidas on pause later this year to take part in one of the most gruelling physical challenges in the world.

Along with three courageous teammates, Jess will be racing in The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December 2021. Known as the world’s toughest row, it is so intense that more people have successfully climbed to the top of Mount Everest than reached the finish line.

Jess graduated from Ravensbourne in 2014 and has forged a very successful career as a designer at Adidas’s headquarters in Germany. She cites studying Fashion at Ravensbourne as helping her develop the grit and self-belief required to succeed and take on this next impressive challenge.

The 3,000-mile race runs continuously, starting from La Gomera in the Canary Islands and finishing in Antigua in the Caribbean. It takes up to two months to complete, and will see the team battle against 20ft waves, row over sea valleys five miles deep and endure tropical storms.

During the race, the team will maintain a relentless schedule where they alternate between rowing and sleeping every two hours. They aim to not only complete the race, but win the race’s mixed category and break the world record time of 42 days, 10 hours and 26 minutes.

In Deep Ship

In Deep Ship team members
In Deep Ship team members (L>R): Joe, Jess, Lauren and Jessica

Jess will be racing alongside teammates Joe Lewis, Jessica Mullins and Lauren Hunt. Together they are known as ‘In Deep Ship’, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the extreme and daunting task they have set for themselves. An additional layer of difficulty to training arose because the team are all based internationally: Jess lives in Nuremburg, Germany; Joe in Dublin, Ireland; Jessica in Vancouver, Canada; and Lauren in London, UK.

‘In Deep Ship’ are well into two years’ worth of meticulous preparation for the event, which has involved training like professional athletes and learning essential survival skills, such as how to navigate and seamanship.

Their exceptional feat will also raise awareness for three charities close to the team members’ hearts. These are leukaemia charity Anthony Nolan and the homelessness charities Crisis and Covenant House. They aim to raise £60,000 to support these causes.

As a proud sponsor, Ravensbourne’s logo will be displayed on the hull of the crew’s rowing boat and on the team’s kit. We are thrilled that we can help make the team’s inspiring challenge possible, alongside a range of other prestigious supporters. We wish the team the very best for their race and are looking forward to celebrating their triumphant arrival in Antigua!

Jess told the Ravensbourne news team: “My time at Ravensbourne has played a massive part in how I approach challenges in my life. My third year on the fashion floor was very much a marathon, not a sprint - staying to finish projects until late into the night most nights! Being at Rave taught me the discipline of what I can accomplish if I work hard and set my mind to something.

“With less than three months to go until the race starts, I’m feeling both excited and a little nervous! With only a month until the boat is shipped to the start line, we are focusing on getting all the last minute jobs completed so she’s ready in time.”

You can sponsor the team on gofundme or donate directly to their charities on their JustGiving page.