Remember Olly Hicks? He was the young adventurer who attempted to circumnavigate Antarctica in a rowboat back in 2009. Ultimately, due to a number of reasons, he was forced to abandon that voyage, but now he is back and gearing up to give it another go next year.
In his first attempt, Olly set out from Tasmania to challenge the Southern Ocean, but soon found the conditions in that body of water were fickle and conspiring to work against him. The wind and currents made it nearly impossible for Hicks to make progress, and after weeks out on the water, he eventually conceded defeat, due in no small part to design flaws on his boat that made it less than ideal for the waters in which he was traveling.
Since that time, Olly has been working with two veteran naval designers on ways to overcome the flaws in his original boat design. With those new designs complete, he now feels ready to start planning his next attempt at the Global Row 2012, as the expedition has been dubbed. The new boat incorporates some unique features that will make it better suited for the conditions in the Southern Ocean, and the design team feels that Olly can expect to average 50-60 nautical miles per day. He’ll put those estimates to the test when he returns to the water in October of next year, departing from Tasmania once again.
The voyage is expected to take somewhere between 18-22 months to complete, during which time Hicks will cover more than 18,000 nautical miles. The first phase of the journey will take Olly across the Pacific Ocean to South Georgia Island, where he plans to wait out the winter before resuming. That stage is expected to take approximately 160 days to complete. After overwintering and resupplying in South Georgia, he’ll take to the Atlantic Ocean and continue around the globe, before arriving back in Tasmania. If successful in his venture, Hicks will become the first person to circumnavigate the Southern Ocean by rowboat.
While Olly loves a good adventure and wants to set the record, he’s also making the row for two of his favorite charities as well. He hopes that his efforts will help raise funds for both the Hope and Homes for Children organization as well as the Save Our Seas Foundation.
While October 2012 seems like a long way off at this point, Olly is about to begin the all important search for sponsors for the Global Row 2012. With that in mind, a new website will be launching soon, and you can keep up with Olly’s progress on his Facebook page right now.
Stay tuned for more as Olly ramps up for his next big adventure next year.
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