Let’s hope they don’t have a row! Husband and wife A&E doctors plan to become the first married couple to race-row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic

  • Charlie Fleury and Adam Baker, both 31, from Devon, will row across the Atlantic
  • Emergency medicine doctors will take part in Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge
  • Will research physiology between males and females in ultra-endurance events

A husband and wife who work as A&E doctors are set to become the first ever married couple to race row across the Atlantic. 

In December, teams from around the globe will set off from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean in one of the world’s toughest rowing events, the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. 

Charlie Fleury and Adam Baker, both 31, from Devon, are taking a break from their career in medicine and preparing to tackle the 3,000 mile challenge, and will make history as the first ever married couple to race in the event. 

Charlie Fleury and Adam Baker, both 31, from Devon, are taking a break from their career as A&E doctors to take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

In light of emerging evidence that women can outperform men over extreme distances, the doctors are aiming to harness their own bodies for research and shed light on the changes in physiology and psychology between males and females in ultra-endurance events

In December, teams from around the globe – including Charlie and Adam, pictured in training – will race from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean in one of the world’s toughest rowing events 

‘Adam and I will be the first ever married couple to race in TWAC which is so exciting and makes the experience even more special,’ said Charlie. 

In light of emerging evidence that women can outperform men over extreme distances, the pair are aiming to harness their own bodies for research and shed light on the changes in physiology and psychology between males and females in ultra-endurance events. 

Charlie first came up with the idea to row across an ocean while camping on a frozen lake in Norway as part of the polar medicine module of her Extreme Medicine Master’s programme at the University of Exeter. 

Having never rowed before, she wanted to undertake an epic adventure that would push her both mentally and physically.


The couple are currently training from Exmouth each week alongside working full time in Exeter A&E, the Devon Air Ambulance

Having never rowed before, Charlie wanted to undertake an epic adventure that would push her both mentally and physically. Pictured, the couple during training 

Adam was hesitant to join initially because he gets incredibly seasick, but eventually decided the adventure was too exciting to turn down.

‘I’m looking forward to pushing through our perceived mental barriers and taking on the extremes of the ocean’, he said. ‘We will be so remote and constantly exposed to the elements.

‘This will also enable us to look at the female and male trends in exactly the same race conditions and learn more about this area of research where there are huge gaps in real time data.’

The couple are currently training from Exmouth each week alongside working full time in Exeter A&E, the Devon Air Ambulance. 

‘The Covid pandemic pushed the race back a year for me as we stepped up our work in A&E,’ said Charlie. 

Adam, picture training for the event, was hesitant to join initially as he gets incredibly seasick, but eventually decided the adventure was too exciting to turn down

As part of their training they are planning a big row to the Isles of Scilly in September to visit their main sponsor, the Scilly Spirit Distillery, and showcase the boat’s new emergency themed wrap (pictured) 

Charlie and Adam are supporting frontline medical charities who encompass saving lives by air, land and sea; DAAT, RNLI, RD&E charity and Mind. Pictured, the couple during training

‘It has been incredibly hard to keep momentum going despite being so mentally fatigued with work pressures but what good practice to prepare for this ultra-endurance challenge.’

Alongside their busy work lives, Charlie is recovering from having her pelvis reconstructed, having only recently had the metal work removed.

As part of their training they are planning a big row to the Isles of Scilly in September to visit their main sponsor, the Scilly Spirit Distillery, and showcase the boat’s new emergency themed wrap. 

‘The hardest part of this challenge is definitely getting to the start line,’ said Charlie.  

‘Training, campaigning and fundraising all whilst working full time in the Emergency Department is an ultra-event in itself and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone who supports us on this journey.’

Charlie and Adam are supporting frontline medical charities who encompass saving lives by air, land and sea; DAAT, RNLI, RD&E charity and Mind. 

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