THE INTERVIEW: VICTORIA CARROLL
BY VICTORIA CARROLL, HEAD OF MARKETING
01 CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF? WHAT DO YOU DO AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE FINANCE INDUSTRY?
I’m Victoria Carroll, I am Head of Marketing at London & Capital and I’ve worked in finance for 13 years. I started my career in Banking before moving into Marketing but have always been in Finance.
02 YOU’RE PARTICIPATING IN QUITE AN EXCITING CHALLENGE THIS YEAR, TELL US A BIT ABOUT THAT
It is very exciting! In December I will be participating as a pair in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. It’s a 3,000 mile rowing race across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua. The row is classed as unsupported, which means we never leave the boat and will be carrying all supplies with us. It will take anything from 50 to 70 days to complete.
03 WOW! WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THIS ON?
I have been involved in rowing since I was young. My mum’s side of the family are all rowers and I couldn’t escape being put into a rowing boat as soon as I was big enough. I really love the sport, the discipline it instils, the friends you make and the competition. I stopped rowing competitively in 2017 to focus more on work but continued to coach women who are brand new to rowing at my club, Vesta Rowing Club. I love taking someone who has never been in a boat before, working with them over a period of months and then eventually seeing them win races, it’s an amazing feeling.
The Atlantic challenge was suggested to me in 2018 and I was hooked immediately. The idea of being alone, in the elements, pushing myself to my limit was irresistible to me!
04 YOU SAID IT WILL TAKE 50-70 DAYS, WILL YOU BE ROWING THE WHOLE TIME?
Pretty much! The standard approach in a pair is to take turns rowing, two hours on, two hours off for 24 hours a day until you get to Antigua. The world record for a female pair crossing the Atlantic on the route we are taking is just over 50 days so we are aiming to beat that but we are at the mercy of the elements so it might take much longer.
05 WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AND WHAT ARE YOU MOST SCARED ABOUT?
I’m really looking forward to the sunrise and sunsets, the starry nights, and the peace and quiet. I am most scared about sharks! We have to get in the water once a week and clean the barnacles off the bottom of the boat and I am absolutely terrified of sharks. I also wouldn’t want to come across a big oil tanker at night (or any other time to be honest). Our boat is only 24ft and some of those larger vessels can be up to 1,000 ft.
06 WHAT DOES LONDON & CAPITAL THINK ABOUT THE CHALLENGE?
They have been absolutely amazing. When I joined the company back in 2018, I said that this was my goal but I’m not sure they really realised the scale of it all. Since then we have done a rowing challenge in the office and the company have become one of our sponsors. I’ve had so many supportive messages from my colleagues as well as some very generous donations which we are so grateful for. I can’t wait to tell them all about it when I get back.
Last week I participated in a challenge organised by one of our charities, London Youth Rowing. It was called ‘Race the Thames’ and teams of 8 were challenged to either row the length of the Tidal Thames (72km) or the River Thames (346km) over the course of this week.
Of course, because my teammate and I are a little crazy, we actually completed the Tidal Thames between just the two of us on Monday (36km each) and then worked our way through the River Thames distance (173km each) in the remaining 6 days. I was appearing on Zoom looking quite dishevelled during that week, having used my lunch break to squeeze in a few extra kilometres, but my colleagues have been very supportive.
07 SO, YOU’RE SUPPORTING CHARITIES AS WELL! CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THEM?
Our main charity is London Youth Rowing, an amazing charity who use rowing to inspire young people in some of London’ most disadvantaged areas to get active and improve confidence. They have a focus on those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, girls and individuals with special educational needs or a disability. I love it because they are using my favourite sport in such a positive way.
We are also supporting The Fawcett Society who are the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, and Hope for Hasti, which is a parent-led charity, inspired by Hasti who has a rare genetic disease, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.
We are aiming to be able to donate over £50,000 to these charities.
08 WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR CHALLENGE?
You can have a look on our website www.tidewayodyssey.com, follow us on Instagram @tidewayodyssey or our Facebook page, Tideway Odyssey. You can also donate to our challenge using our Go Fund Me page here.