Roz Savage, one of two British rowers planning to cross the North Atlantic, is shown with the boat, Bojangles, that she and Andrew Morris will be using to make the journey. — Photo by Barb Sweet/The Telegram
British rowers who will depart St. John’s in an attempt to row 2,587 miles across the North Atlantic in time for the Olympic Games in London, are looking for someone with a support vessel to accompany them as far as the Grand Banks.
“We know it’s a big ask, we realize that. If we manage to find somebody and work something out, it would just be the comfort factor knowing that if the boat flips over, it should self-right, but it would be reassuring,” said Roz Savage, who is in St. John’s with rowing partner Andrew Morris awaiting a weather window to depart.
“The conditions (on the Grand Banks) are unfamiliar there because we’re not used to rowing in that kind of shallower waters on the edge of the Continental Shelf. That and the cold are the two big unknown quantities for us on this.”
Anyone who can accompany them in a suitable vessel to the Grand Banks is asked to email Naomi Coe of the Olympic Atlantic Row (OAR) Project at email@example.com.
The pair is well aware of the perils of the North Atlantic and while breaking a speed record for a trans-atlantic row would be nice, they will not jeopardize their safety.
Both are experienced ocean rowers.
Savage, 44, is an environmental campaigner and one of the most experienced ocean rowers in the world with 520 days and 15,000 miles logged at sea in ocean rowing boats.
Morris, 47, is managing director of logistics group PA Freight and Allseas Global Logistics. Together with Mick Dawson, he successfully rowed 3,000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua.
They hope to make it to London in time for the Oylmpic Games, or at the very least, the closing.
The crew will row through the Grand Banks, and will navigate past icebergs and bergy bits.
Upon arrival at the English coast, they will make their way through the Bristol Channel and into the British Inland waterways system. Travelling via rivers and canals, the two will join the River Thames to enter London.
The pair will endure a gruelling routine, rowing two hours on, two hours off, 24 hours a day. After eating, checking in with base and making any necessary repairs to the boat, they will not get more than 1.5 hours sleep at any one time.
Savage hopes to blog during the journey and has been trying to get rest beforehand, but that’s hard as her schedule has been hectic.
The trip is expected to take 60 days to cross the North Atlantic and 14 days to complete the inland waterways leg.
Bojangles is a state-of-the-art ocean rowing boat designed and built by ocean rowing expert Mick Dawson to withstand the ravages of the Pacific Ocean.
The 24-foot boat weighs 400 kilograms dry and is constructed with kevlar-carbon composite, the material bulletproof vests are made of. It is lined with lead to keep it upright.
According to the OAR Project, the North Atlantic route has claimed the lives of four rowers.
People can follow the progress of the OAR via an interactive map.
Daily blogs and the latest still images and video footage can also be accessed from the OAR website, www.oar2012.com or on twitter: @oar_mosmorris and Facebook: #FollowOlympicAtlanticRow
More in Thursday’s Telegram print edition
This is a corrected version.