Michelle’s personal journey, endurances, records

‘Michelle Lee encompasses the spirit of adventure and values her freedom – above all else.

Twelve years in corporate banking and an end to a long-term relationship were the impetus to Michelle giving up her career, along with society’s expectations, and turn to a life of adventure.

Trekking 100km Kokoda trail in 2012 – where she turned 40 on day 2 – sparked Michelle’s love for extreme adventures requiring uttermost physical fitness, mental resilience, and self-discipline.

Since then, Michelle has completed triathlons, fun runs and has participated in events including the Bloody Long Walk, 65km Coast Trek, Spartan, and numerous short course triathlons. And that’s just for fun!

Today, Michelle holds the world record for the fastest woman to row one million metres on a Concept 2 rowing machine and is Australia’s first woman to row any ocean solo. She was awarded The Australian Geographic’s Adventurer of the year in 2019 for her 68-day solo, unassisted row across the Atlantic Ocean, and is regularly invited to share her story to inspire others to challenge their purpose and untapped potential.

Michelle continues to push her boundaries, setting ever greater new challenges to satisfy her curiosity to her full potential. With the desire to not die wondering, Michelle is now preparing to row the world’s biggest ocean. The Pacific.

With influencers in her life including Bob Proctor who preaches that “being dissatisfied is the most creative state you can find yourself in” and Dr. Joe Dispenza with rewiring your brain methods, Michelle continues to learn and grow daily in areas of mindset and personal development.

It is this mindset and unwavering self-disciple that has led Michelle to perform at the highest level, confirming to her that as humans we are capable of so much more than we think. This was proven when crossing the Atlantic Ocean, she noted in her diary: “Day 46 – worse day ever!!!” and then continued to row for another 22 days to reach the finish line.

Start thinking you can and you will, is the motto that has become her mantra.


”Don’t die wondering. Start thinking you can and you will.”

Michelle Lee,

Solo Ocean Rower


The Race Challenge

I’ve done the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – one of the world’s toughest nautical challenges. It’s the ultimate test in mental stamina, physical strength and endurance.

The race was a 3,000 miles (4,700kms) ocean row which started in La Gomera, Canary Islands, and finished English Harbour, Antigua.
This was an international event, professionally organised and fully supported. The race has strict rules and regulations, and the organisers insist that ALL mandatory safety courses are completed prior to racing. Each boat must be built to specifications and be fully equipped with the latest safety gear and navigational equipment.

It was devised in 1966, by Sir Clay Blyth while he was rowing the North Atlantic with John Ridgeway. Their journey was a 92-day battle against hurricanes, 50 foot waves and starvation, proving this undertaking is one of the most perilous sporting challenges on Earth.

More people have climbed Mt Everest than have successfully rowed the Atlantic ocean…..”

I did endure!

  • Extreme Conditions
  • Mother Nature
  • Powered only by human strength, spirit, endurance & determination
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Salt Sores
  • Isolation
  • Solitude
  • Extreme Conditions
  • Mother Nature
  • Powered only by human strength, spirit, endurance & determination
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Salt Sores
  • Isolation
  • Solitude

Other Achievements

Michelle has an impressive history of athletic achievements. She has proven time and time again her ability to push beyond her boundaries – to take on bigger and bigger challenges. She goes through the gruelling training required for every challenge so she can succeed.  These challenges have required not only top physical fitness, but a mastery over her emotional and mental states. Determination and grit are one of Michelle’s underpinning characteristics.

Current World Record Holder

One million metre row 5 days, 21 hours, 35 minutes

Michelle works as a massage therapist and trains daily so her arms are getting continuous workouts.

 2013-14 Sail Voyage to USA, Bahamas and Cuba Two seasons sailing and living on board 42-foot catamaran.

1996 Annapurna Circuit, Himalayas completes 160kms in just 9 days with 14 kg pack.

2012 Completes Kokoda Trail, Papua New Guinea in just 5 days with a pack

2017 Started rowing weekly doing 40-60km cycles, 14-18km runs, group strength and conditioning sessions.

Featured in International Boat Show

Sanctuary Cove Sydney Brisbane


RYA Essential Naviagation and Seamanship
RYA Marine First Aid
RYA VHF Marine Radio Licence
Ocean Rowing Course
STCW95 Safety at Sea Course

We’re delighted to have been able to host Michelle at the 2017 Aon Sydney International Regatta and to have played a small part in her breaking the world record.

Michael Scott

Rowing Australia CEO

Connect with me today

I would love to hear from you!
Contact Michelle