Our Story


Eleanor Rose Ellis
   19th January 1989 – 12th May 2012

Inspirational Friends was created in memory of Eleanor Ellis, a fellow rower and inspirational friend to Hannah, who at the age of 23 lost her life to Cervical Cancer.

First diagnosed in the summer of 2010, Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy ensued until, in March 2011 Elle was given “2 good months and then a swift decline”. When faced with death, Elle showed an extraordinary spirit and courage which inspired everyone around her. Despite the doctors estimate Elle lived for 15 months. She lived every day like it was her last. Eleanor, or Elle to her friends, was an inspiration to all those who knew her. She was charismatic, adventurous and lived her life to the full, taking on every challenge which came her way.

The Team Name

When it came to choosing the team name, Hannah threw literally hundreds of names around. She knew what she was trying to say and in the end it was obvious, it needed to be a simple name that spoke a thousand words…


“In our lives we meet many people, but only a few will make a lasting impression on our minds and hearts. When life throws challenges at me, it is my friends who stand by my side. They believe in me, even when I have stopped believing in myself. Friends are priceless. They make me push myself, they make me live for the moment, and they make me take risks. But most of all…they inspire me. Time waits for no one. Without my friends, I would still be waiting.” (Hannah Lawton, 2013)

The Boat Build

Pairs boats are seven meters long and just under two meters wide, with only a small cabin for protection against storms. All boats are equipped at the race start, and cannot take any repair, help or food and water during the crossing without forfeiting the race.

‘Sedulous’ cost in the region of £50,000 and she will be back as part of the team for the 2016 attempt.

The boat was named ‘Sedulous’ in May 2013, by Katherine Grainger CBE. Hannah picked the name, wanting something that represented the kind of person Elle was and the team ethos. Sedulous is an adjective, meaning diligent in application or attention; persevering; assiduous.

Carbon_aramid-cloth_1 Carbon_aramid-cloth_3 Gel-going-into-mould Vacuuming-the-last-carbon-skin-to-the-forward-cabin-moulding.