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News Americas, ST. JOHN’S ANTIGUA, Thurs. July 26, 2023: In an extraordinary display of courage and determination, Team Antigua Island Girls, an exceptional all-female rowing team from Antigua and Barbuda, has achieved yet another momentous victory. Celebrated across the twin-island Caribbean nation for their historic accomplishments, these inspiring athletes are known as the first all-female, black team to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Team Antigua Island Girls are an all-female rowing team from Antigua and Barbuda comprised of Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Samara Emmanuel, Kevinia Francis, and Junella King. Collectively, they are four athletes and a skipper.

On July 23 2023 team members: Christal Clashing, Kevinia Francis, and Samara Emmanuel completed the Pacific Challenge Row Race, rowing from Monterey Bay, California, to Kauai, Hawaii, covering approximately 2,800 nautical miles in forty-one days.

Team Antigua Island Girls’ Christal Clashing, Kevinia Francis and Samara Emmanuel celebrate their accomplishment having arrived in Hawaii after forty-one days at sea for the Pacific Challenge. (Photo courtesy: World’s Toughest Row)

This remarkable endeavor, undertaken as part of the inaugural 2023 Pacific Challenge, spanned forty-one days at sea and was dedicated to a noble cause. The team’s extraordinary journey not only demonstrated the strength and resilience of women but also raised funds for building a home to support vulnerable girls in need.

The team embarked on this mission with a profound impact in mind: to raise funds for a charitable cause – building a home for women in conflict with the law, offering them a second chance in life and fostering women’s empowerment.

Overcoming immense challenges, Team Antigua Island Girls rowed an astonishing distance of approximately 2,800 nautical miles across the Pacific, participating in what is known as ‘the world’s toughest row.’ Starting their journey in Monterey Bay, California, they concluded their triumph in Kauai, Hawaii. Among fourteen competing teams, the Island Girls emerged as true champions, standing strong alongside their fellow all-women team, Row Aurora.

Speaking on behalf of Team Antigua Island Girls, Kevinia Francis expressed their vision, stating, “Through our efforts, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of women’s empowerment and provide a brighter future for young girls who deserve a second chance in life.”

The triumph of Team Antigua Island Girls has garnered widespread admiration, drawing praise from notable figures. The Honourable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Investment in Antigua and Barbuda, commended the team, hailing their dedication to raising funds for young girls in need as truly honorable. Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, also lauded the Island Girls’ efforts, highlighting their unwavering spirit and commitment to representing their nation on the international stage.

As witnesses to their inspiring journey and advocates for their cause, we are called to support Team Antigua Island Girls and their noble mission. Together, we can make a difference, nurturing compassion and generosity to steer young women towards a future filled with hope, opportunity, and empowerment.

For those interested in learning more about Team Antigua Island Girls or contributing to their cause, please visit their GoFundMe page ( or make direct contributions to the Caribbean Union Bank account #20004631 in St. John’s, Antigua.

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