Mon, Apr 19, 2010 - Page 5 News List

British adventurer set for final leg of epic Pacific row

AFP , WELLINGTON

British adventurer Roz Savage sets out today from the remote island nation of Kiribati on the final stage of her epic journey to be the first woman to row across the Pacific.

Savage wrote on her blog yesterday that the only thing that could delay her scheduled departure for Cairns on the Australian east coast was the heavy rain that was disrupting preparations.

The 42-year-old began her odyssey from San Francisco in May 2008 and covered the 4,800km to Hawaii in 99 days.

On the second leg last year from Hawaii to Tuvalu she was forced by tides and dwindling food supplies to make landfall in Kiribati, a nation of 33 coral atolls straddling the equator, after 104 days at sea.

She said the third leg, expected to take about 100 days, would be the most challenging.

“If this weather continues for the rest of today and into tomorrow, we’re going to be up against it to be ready in time to leave on Monday morning,” she wrote on her blog, adding that the rain was forecast to continue.

“I had considerable experience of wet weather rowing on the Atlantic, and I don’t like it. Wet skin chafes more,” Savage said.

“It’s impossible to keep the cabin dry when I’m going in and out soaking wet. Electronics fog up and fail. It’s generally more challenging,” she said.

She told reporters the route to Australia also posed problems.

“Once I get into the Coral Sea, the winds will be pushing me northwards and off course,” she said.

“Papua New Guinea wouldn’t be too difficult, but Cairns is going to be tricky,” she said.

Savage was in her mid-thirties when she traded her career as a project manager at an investment bank for the life of an adventurer and completed her first epic voyage in 2005 when she rowed across the Atlantic.

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