Michelle Lee

Australia’s first female to row SOLO across an ocean

Motivational speaker and 2019 Australian adventurer of the year Michelle Lee, is the first Australian female to row solo across any ocean. She conquered the Atlantic in a row boat and now inspires corporate Australia proving when you think you have nothing left in your tank, you can achieve what most people think is the impossible.

Motivational speaker and 2019 Australian adventurer of the year Michelle Lee, is the first Australian female to row solo across any ocean. She conquered the Atlantic in a row boat and now inspires corporate Australia proving when you think you have nothing left in your tank, you can achieve what most people think is the impossible.

Michelle Lee has always had a passion for adventure.

In December 2018 her boat, the “Australian Maid” departed La Gomera in the Canary Islands, to achieve what many would consider the unachievable. Michelle spent 68 days, 12 hours and 49 minutes alone at sea and completed her voyage at the English Harbour in Antiqua in February 2019. She rowed 5,000 kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean, as one of only five solo competitors in the world’s toughest ocean race – the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

During her journey, Michelle faced strong tides, storms, broken equipment, health issues, injuries and wildlife. But the Remedial Masseuse says three things kept her going.

“Determination, grit and integrity. Integrity for me is to finish what you start and do what you’ll say you’ll do. They’re the big things for me,” Michelle said.

Michelle Lee has an impressive history of athletic achievements including completing the Kokoda Track in 5 days and trekking 160kms of the Annapurna Circuit, Himalayas in nine days. She achieves her goals by pushing her boundaries and taking on bigger and bigger challenges each and every time.

Her goals require not only the highest level of physical fitness, but also mastery over her emotional and mental state.

“Start thinking you can, and you will. It’s that simple. That’s what all this started from,” Michelle said.

It’s been a rapid rise to the top for Michelle who in 2017, became the fastest woman to row one million metres in five days, securing her a world record.

Within 10 days of returning home from Antiqua, Michelle’s story featured in 217 media items, reaching an audience of 3.5 million people, with an Advertising Sales Rate (ASR) of $1.3 million. Everyone wanted to hear her story.

Michelle is now encouraging other women to push themselves to achieve their dreams and hopes her Australian-produced podcast A While Away, can provide some inspiration.

Michelle’s podcast tracks her incredible journey with satellite phone check ins, race updates, interviews with Michelle, race officials and other experts. It documents the challenges she faced and how she survived, solo at sea.


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