Rebecca, 41, was born in Windsor Ontario and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Growing up in a city surrounded by mountains and the ocean, Rebecca quickly developed a love for hiking. She also acquired a deep interest and fascination for all things related to the ocean and its marine life.
In her 20s, Rebecca moved to UK and lived in Henley on the Thames for a number of years. She missed hiking the mountains of British Columbia and was looking for a new challenge when Henley provided the perfect setting for the introduction to Dragon Boating. She very quickly excelled in the sport and went on to represent Great Britain in three Dragon Boat World Championships winning gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as obtaining a world record. Not long into training with the GB Dragonboat team, Rebecca was working with Olympic rower Ali Gill when Gill suggested she try rowing. She rowed at the Upper Thames Rowing club and was very fortunate to be coached by some of the best rowers in the world.
Once back home in Vancouver Rebecca took up Outrigger paddling and went on to represent Canada at the Outrigger World Sprints in Calgary in August of 2012 in both the Masters and Open Categories, winning gold, two silvers and a bronze.
When Rebecca found out that there would be the first ever Great Pacific Race, the challenge could not be ignored.
So how did this all start anyway??
Great Britain has over 300 ocean rowers (Canada, currently, has only 12). It’s no surprise then that the origin of this idea to row an ocean came from some of Rebecca’s various team-mates in the UK.
Debra Searl (GB Premier Women’s Dragon Boat Team), Rachel Smith (GB Premier Women’s Dragon Boat Team) and Lin Griesel (GB Premier Women’s Dragon Boat Team), and Sarah Louise Duff (UTRC) have all rowed at least one ocean each. Beth Jackson (UTRC) who was also a house-mate of Rebecca’s in the UK suggested that they do the Indian Ocean in 2010 but it wasn’t meant to be for logistical reasons. It was by association to these amazing women that Rebecca got the idea to take on the Pacific 2014 challenge!
It was the eventual publishing of Rachel Smith’s book “Antigua or Bust” that reminded her that she had wanted to row an ocean… as it happened, Chris Martin very obligingly arranged a rowing race that took place on her side of the globe! And so during the dark cold winter of 2012, after years of flirting with the idea of rowing an ocean, Rebecca Berger decided it was time.
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