Virgin Global Row Update: Progress at Last!

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It’s been a couple of weeks since I checked in on Olly Hicks and his Virgin Global Row. At that time, he was struggling each day to just hold on to his position, and for a number of days in row, that’s about all he could do. The young British adventurer was rowing for several hours each day, just to attempt to hold his ground against the savage winds and waters of the Southern Ocean.

Loading up the map on the Global Row website today though shows that he has indeed made solid progress over the past week or so. Olly has actually had a couple of calm days and has made the most of them, rowing with renewed vigor. He’s now more than 40 days into his attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica by rowboat, with an estimated 450+ to go, and by his regular blog posts, I’d say he’s still in good spirits, despite his early struggles. I can’t say I’d feel the same way all things considered.

The entries in his blog tell of his daily struggles with things that seem hard to comprehend for those of us who have never attempted to row across an ocean. In one recent post he mentions the “cross seas” that send waves at him from different directions, making it nearly impossible to keep a rowing rhythm and requiring constant concentration to keep on course. He also talks about how his custom made rowboat, lovingly dubbed the Flying Carrot, will roll in the water, pulling the oars from his hands, and smacking him in the knees in the process.

Checkout the photo attached to this post to get an idea of the kind of seas that Olly is dealing with here. Now imagine facing that day in, and day out, alone for weeks at a time. Seems like a grim prospect, but Olly can look forward to making landfall for a short break from all of that in about six months time. Hang in there Olly we’re pulling for you.

Kraig Becker

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