The Pacific Challenge

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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.

Roz says:

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)

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Russian government assists British yachtsman in bid to make sailing history

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British yachtsman Adrian Flanagan, 46 is ready to make sailing history. During July and August he will attempt to sail the first ever single-handed transit along Russia’s Northern Sea Route.

Flanagan set out on the Alpha Global Expedition, his quest to sail the first single-handed ‘vertical’ circumnavigation of the globe, on 28th October 2005. He has so far covered 26,000 miles going west around Cape Horn to Nome, Alaska where his boat has spent the Arctic winter.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who achieved the first single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation in 1969, has described Flanagan’s Alpha Global Expedition as, ‘A serious challenge’.

Expedition Manager and Flanagan’s ex-wife, Louise says, ‘The Alpha Global Expedition Arctic Phase is the greatest challenge of the voyage. The Russian Government has shown vision and imagination in granting Adrian unprecedented access to their territorial waters’.

Only 4 yachts have ever made the Arctic transit on the Russian side – French, German, Irish and Russian, but none of these was single-handed. If successful, Flanagan’s 40ft stainless steel sloop, ‘Barrabas’ will become the first British boat to join this group.

Flanagan’s route will take him westwards from the port of Provideniya along Russia’s Arctic coast. The distance from Provideniya to the UK is 4,800 miles. The first 2,000 miles towards Proliv Vil’kitskogo will be through ice-strewn waters.

‘I am grateful to the government of the Russian Federation. I feel privileged to be given this opportunity not only to achieve my personal goal but also to bring greater awareness to the British public of environmental concerns affecting the Arctic region,’ Flanagan said.

The navigable window in the high Arctic is very short and if Flanagan clears the ice fields he should be mooring up at The Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Hamble River in early September.

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Flanagan set to go over the top

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Adrian Flanagan and Barrabas

On June 25th, British yachtsman Adrian Flanagan resumes his quest to sail the first ever single- handed ‘vertical’ circumnavigation of the globe. Flanagan, 46, set sail on the Alpha Global Expedition on 28th October 2005 and covered 26,000 miles going west around Cape Horn to Nome, Alaska where his 40ft stainless steel sloop, ‘Barrabas’ has spent the Arctic winter.

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Adrian set off from the Solent in October 2005 and reached Nome Alaska in June 2005, where Barrabas had to be taken ashore for the Arctic winter. Adrian is now preparing to put Barrabas back in the water, head for the Russian coast, and then ‘go over the top’ to return to the UK

Flanagan’s route will take him along Russia’s Northern Sea Route. Success will see ‘Barrabas’ become the first British flagged yacht to sail Russia’s Arctic coast and Flanagan, the first sailor to achieve this feat single-handed. The distance from Nome Alaska to the UK is 4,800 miles, the first 2,000 miles of which will be through ice-strewn waters. The Russian government has granted Flanagan special permission to make the attempt. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who achieved the first single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation in 1969, has described Flanagan’s Alpha Global Expedition as, ‘A serious challenge’.

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Louise being filmed by Sky News

Expedition Manager and Flanagan’s ex-wife, Louise says, ‘The Alpha Global Expedition Arctic Phase is the greatest challenge of the voyage. The Russian Government has shown vision and imagination in granting Adrian unprecedented access to their territorial waters’.

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Flanagan will be assisted by Canadian firm MDA which operates 2 space satellites, Radarsat I & II. Images of the ice edge will be taken relative to Flanagan’s position and the data fed to the expedition base. Routing directions will then be communicated to Flanagan on board ‘Barrabas’.

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The navigable window in the high Arctic is very short and if Flanagan clears the ice fields he should be mooring up at The Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Hamble River in early September.

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