A UAE resident, Orlagh Dempsey, is striving to become the first woman to row across the Arctic Ocean. She will join a three-member team from the UAE, embarking from Tromsø, Norway in late July. Their journey will cover over 1,500km in an 8-meter boat without any engine, motor, or sails, aiming to set three world records. In addition to these records, the team, which includes Toby Gregory and Andrew Savill, will employ specialized equipment to enhance scientific knowledge in a remote and delicate region, while advocating for gender equality.

Orlagh, speaking to Khaleej Times, expressed her excitement about being a trailblazer, hoping to inspire others. This isn't her first record attempt; in 2021, she was part of a trio that set the Guinness World Record for the fastest all-women team to row the Pacific Ocean in 60 days. The initiative was conceived by Toby, who previously led the Row for Cop28 movement, aiming to inspire the younger generation.

To prepare for this arduous journey, Orlagh spends over two hours daily in the gym, acknowledging the mental challenges of being at sea for extended periods. Her involvement in ocean rowing began by chance after moving to the UAE in 2017, when a friend invited her to join a Pacific crossing after another member dropped out.

Their vessel, Ocean Guardian, relies solely on the crew's physical strength and is equipped with solar panels and a desalination machine. The team plans to row non-stop from Tromsø to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, following a strict schedule of rowing and resting for 20-25 days, navigating through challenging terrains. This expedition will also contribute to scientific research in the Arctic Ocean, a critical yet vulnerable ecosystem.