Iris Noordzij

Rowing Veteran - Team Atlantic Dutchesses/ Team Row 4 Impact

Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2020/ 2021


Position: Iris works as a sports massage therapist. Iris is married, mother of 4 adult children, 2 stepchildren and has a grandson.

Location: Jubbega, Friesland, The Netherlands

Rowing Experience: Iris Noordzij got a taste for lifeboat rowing at Trewes rowing club some 17 years ago and she has been a member of this association ever since. Iris and rowing have become a strong combination.

Endurence experience: in 2020 she rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. The challenge was completed in 43 days and she came first in the Women's 4 class with her team ‘Atlantic Dutchesses’ and won the Murden Trophy. In December 2021 Iris participated again in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge but this time in the Women's trio class with the team ‘Row for IMPACT’. That's year after year! The second crossing was also done in 43 days and both crosses were done in the R45 elite ‘Queen of Hearts’. 

Worst moment: the moment that “the man with the hammer” is hitting in… 

Best sporting moment: When I am participating in a team and everything is going so well so I can feel that extra little bit of energy which makes me feel I got wings? That’s when the whole team gets into a flow, feeling so strong and connected. At those moments you become price winners. 

Biggest fear for the row: getting wet and not drying up so the cold hits in. 

Reason for the row: On the ocean Iris experiences a form of steady state of meditation. The ocean can also be very confronting. Despite trouble with the heat/cold, fatigue and feeling hungry, there is a happiness that is unrivalled. Living in the here and now and experiencing phenomenal freedom. Dealing with the elements, after all, there is no other choice. Keeping focused and persevere. Rethinking: telling yourself the desired situation instead of getting stuck in the negativity. Being crazy enough to believe you can do anything in life. And this life only comes around once, so do whatever makes you happy, and be around those who make you smile.  

Most missed items missed at sea: family and friends

Who is Iris: Iris integrates her (life) experiences with others during her work. She inspires and helps others to keep moving, to never give up on themselves, to stay true to their ideals and to go for those things that are so important to them.  Iris hopes to inspire other people to think in possibilities, not in impossibilities. You are not alone. We are Ohana.