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Why do you make these journeys?
I needed to find a way to get people’s attention.
I’d had an epiphany when I came across the Hopi
prophecies, which basically say we have to look
after the earth if we want it to look after us, and if
we lose that relationship we’re screwed. I feel that
every decision we make as human beings is casting
a vote for the kind of future we want. When I’m an
old lady, I want to be living on a clean and healthy
planet. So right now I’m rowing for it.
How hard was your first Atlantic ocean race?
God, it was hard. If I’d known how hard, I’d have
never set out. That year (2005) was the worst for
weather in the Atlantic since records beg an. I got
tendonitis in my shoulders. Psychologically it was
brutal. My stereo broke early on so I just had my
own thoughts to entertain me. There was a lot of
self-doubt. I made mistakes, both practical and
psychological. It was character-building.
What happens in your head when you’ re
on the ocean alone?
You’re brought face to face with yourself. If
you’ve g ot any hang-ups or demons they come
skulking out of the woodwork. Ultimately, I had a
lot of insights. One was that you can’t take things
personally. I learned that the weather’s not trying
When she sets out from Fremantle in her newly painted purple row boat, British adventurer Roz Savage will
have Mumbai on her radar. Having already rowed solo across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, she seeks to
be the first woman to complete the Big Three when she embarks on a five-month odyssey to India. Named
among Britain’s top 20 adventurers, she swapped corporate job, husband and sports car in her mid-30s for a
life of adventure and environmental campaigning. Now 43, she and boat Sedna embark from Fremantle at the
end of March on their biggest jour ney yet – 5000 -nautical miles – blogging all the way.
10 minutes with
Roz Savage: ocean rower
to teach me anything, it’s just obeying the laws of
physics. The ocean lets you know that you’re just
another animal. You don’t get any special privileges
just because you’ve got an opposable thumb.
What would it take for you to quit mid-row?
I haven’t always been renowned for perseverance,
but I’ve learned there is a lot to be said for hanging
in there. Grit is an underrated quality in this era
when we’re all flitting from one thing to another.
With ocean rowing, you can’t get 80 per cent of
the way and say “That’ll do”. You’re still 20 per
cent away from a glass of chardonnay.
Surrounded by water, what do you
look forward to?
Eating what I feel like, rather than nuts, a snack
bar or a freeze-dried meal. And walking. The old
gluteus maximus tends to disappear while I’m
on the ocean. But I’ll probably lose about
15 kilos on this crossing.
Is your campaign working?
Anecdotally, yes. I can’t say I’ve saved this much
plastic from going into the environment, but I’m
doing everything I can to spread the ripples, and I
know people who’ve g ot the ripple effect from me
are spreading ripples in their own communities.
We’ve all got a circle of influence.
you know that
You don’t get any
you’ve got an
She’s come all the way from Britain to row all the way to Mumbai. We’re inspired
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