On Sedna in Antigua after rowing the Atlantic Photo: Rita Savage
Two Brits prepare for two major solo challenges
With Adrian Flanagan back in Nome Alaska preparing for the final leg of his vertical circumnavigation, Roz Savage is preparing for her thre stage attempt to row across the Pacific. It looks like they will be setting off on their respective challenges at almost the same time.
Rowing the Atlantic was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I had ever done. I’d wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and that, by definition, is an uncomfortable place to be. Physically, it was tough, but psychologically it was even tougher. The ocean is scary and it’s daunting and most of the time I wanted to give up.
So why row the Pacific? Three reasons.
1. I learned a lot on the Atlantic about how NOT to row an ocean. I succeeded, but psychologically I gave myself a much tougher time than I needed to. I think I’ve learned the lessons, and I want to put them to the test.
2. Since before the Atlantic row, I had intended to row the Pacific. My long-term plan is to make a 7-year journey around the world on its surface using environmentally-friendly transport, to get a feel for the true size of the planet in a way that you can’t from an aeroplane. No matter how much I struggled on the Atlantic, it was never bad enough to make me give up my dream.
3. I believe that if you don’t keep pushing the boundaries, keep expanding your comfort zone, your comfort zone actually gets smaller and smaller, until you’re shrink-wrapped in such a tiny comfort zone that you can’t move, you can’t achieve anything, you can’t grow. And so I keep pushing, keep developing, keep evolving. I keep showing what an ordinary person can do when they put their hearts and minds and souls into it.
The timetable is:
A 3-stage challenge, due to launch in July 2007:
Stage 1 (2007): San Francisco to Hawaii (2324 statute miles, course 247 degrees)
Stage 2 (2008): Hawaii to Tuvalu (2620 statute miles, course 224 degrees)
Stage 3 (2009): Tuvalu to Australia (2324 statute miles, course 252 degrees)