British rower Roz Savage arrived safely in Hawaii on September 1, having completed the first leg of a three-year, three-leg ocean row across the Pacific to Australia. Savage set off from San Francisco in her 23-foot rowing boat, Brocade, on May 24, 2008. She arrived in Honolulu after 99 days, 8 hours, 55 minutes and a distance of nearly 2,600 nautical miles. When she finally reaches Australia she will have covered 7,600 nm of open ocean.
Savage is no newcomer to ocean rowing. In 2005-’06 she rowed across the Atlantic, making history as the only solo female competitor in the Atlantic Rowing Race from the Canary Islands to Antigua. In the race she covered a distance of 2,935 nm in 103 days.
Despite the harsh conditions and equipment failures she encountered in the Atlantic, Savage quickly set her sights on a new goal of being the first woman to row from the U.S. to Australia. Her first attempt to cross the Pacific in 2007 failed 10 days into the voyage when her boat capsized several times in one day after losing its sea anchor. She decided to abort the row and was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard. Weather considerations prevented her from re-launching that year.
Her boat, Brocade, is named for her lead sponsor, Brocade Communications Systems of San Jose, Calif. The 23-foot-long, 6-foot-wide carbon fiber boat was originally built by Woodvale-Events for Simon Chalk, ocean rower and founder of the company that sponsors the Atlantic Ocean Challange. Dolphin Quay Boatyard, of Emsworth, U.K., fit out the boat for Savage.
Through her voyages Savage hopes to raise awareness of environmental issues, especially those facing the world’s oceans. As a writer and motivational speaker, she works to inspire others to rise to their own challenges &mdash big or small. Savage’s blog from the voyage along with real-time route tracking can be found on her web site www.rozsavage.com.