Saturday 3 December 2016

Silver screen may beckon for record-breaking mothers after Atlantic row

Published 23/09/2016 | 17:16

Janette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies became record breakers when they rowed across the Atlantic (Welcome to Yorkshire/PA)
Janette Benaddi, Helen Butters, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies became record breakers when they rowed across the Atlantic (Welcome to Yorkshire/PA)

The story of four working mothers who became record-breakers when they rowed across the Atlantic could now be told in a movie.

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Helen Butters, Janette Benaddi, Frances Davies and Niki Doeg received a heroes' welcome on their return to their home county of Yorkshire after completing the 3,000-mile race in February.

The four friends - known as the Yorkshire Rows - became the oldest women to row across an ocean when they crossed the finish line of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in Antigua.

On Friday, they confirmed a book telling their story - Four Mums In A Boat - will be published by a division of HarperCollins UK next year.

And they said the London-based production company Archery Pictures had optioned the film rights.

The women Tweeted: "@yorkshirerows are thrilled to announce our story is being published by @HQstories @HarperCollins you can preorder now!"

And they added: " @yorkshirerows r excited 2 announce archery pictures have optioned our story for a movie."

The women, who all have children at the same school and became friends after taking up rowing at a club in York, formed the plan to take part in the race around three years ago at a boat club dinner.

During their 67 days at sea, the team encountered a hurricane, power failures, attacks from flying fish, seasickness and injuries.

They also revealed they had to row naked after running out of clean clothes and said an equipment failure had left them steering by hand and one rower down at all times.

After their return, the women laughed about which film stars could play them in any movie.

Benaddi, 51, and Butters, 45, joked that they wanted Renee Zellwegger and Kate Winslet to play them but said they would have to master a Yorkshire accent first.

Archery's Pip Williams told deadline.com: " I was truly inspired by the story of these women who prove that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.

"Their positive outlook and humour brings warmth to what is ultimately a hugely formidable challenge and achievement."

Press Association

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