Courtesy Alana Fickes
January 27, 2016 12:20 PM

They made it!

Four U.K. women have finally landed in Australia after nine months at sea together in a 29-ft. long pink rowboat named Doris.

Natalia Cohen, 40, Laura Penhaul, 32, Emma Mitchell, 30, and Meg Dyos, 25, who call themselves the Coxless Crew after their lack of a coxswain member onboard, started their journey in San Francisco, California, on April 20, 2015, and arrived in Cairns, Australia, just before 1:00 GMT on Monday.

The 8,446-mile journey took exactly 257 days.

The completion of the expedition makes the Coxless Crew the first ever team of four to row the Pacific Ocean, setting a new world record.

“When we came in, it was hugely emotional,” crewmember Laura Penhaul tells PEOPLE. “I’m so proud that we stepped on as teammates and stepped off as lifelong friends.”

Penhaul says the team, who spent four years training for the odyssey, was overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment while taking their final strokes into Cairnes.

“The ocean threw a lot of obstacles at us, but we beat everything we faced,” she says. “We achieved everything we set out to achieve.”

Coxless crew keeping the mood light while at sea
Courtesy Losing Sight of Shore

The team rowed 24 hours a day and battled four-story high waves, sweeping currents and torrential rains. They ate freeze-dried meals, used a bucket as a toilet and slept in two-hour shifts.

“We may be rowing the Pacific, but everyone has their own metaphorical Pacific Ocean to cross in life, so we hope people will ask ‘What’s mine?’ ” Penhaul told PEOPLE.

Coxless crew rowing into the sunset
Courtesy Losing Sight of Shore

Doris, the Coxless Crew’s trusty boat, is being cleaned after months at sea. It will be shipped to the U.K. while the women enjoy a few days in Australia with friends and family who came to see the landing.

A documentary of the women’s incredible journey, Losing Sight of Shore, is set to be released in the fall of 2016.

You May Like