The Voyage: Roz Savage
Henley Royal Regatta
05 Jul 2005

I never would have imagined I'd be rowing over the legendary Henley course on finals day to rounds of applause from the packed stands of the Stewards Enclosure. And then be so mobbed afterwards that the pontoon would start to sink... just a shame about the earlier highly embarrassing collision with the booms in front of the Remenham Club. And that my row wasn't a hard-earned victory, but a ceremonial paddle during the tea break.

Chris Martin had arranged for a row-over of three generations of ocean rowing boat. First came Graham Walters in the Puffin, the little dory in which Hoare and Johnstone perished during their attempt to row the north Atlantic in 1966.

Then came Chris in Pacific Pete, a traditional ocean rowing pair made in marine ply and named after Peter Bird, the first man to row across the Pacific.

Then there was me in Solo - state-of-the-art compared with Graham's state-of-the-ark. Unfortunately, with her mega-light carbon fibre hull and no ballast, I was floating like a cork on the water and getting pushed around by the wind - hence my brush with the booms. Well, that's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it. But maybe just as well there are no booms in mid-Atlantic.

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Naval Gazing
Roz Savage
28 Jun 2005, Southsea

It's Trafalgar 200 (in case you hadn't noticed!) and I'm in Portsmouth to be interviewed by BBC Radio Solent who are broadcasting live from the International Fleet Review. Rousing nautical music is booming from the sound systems, an multitude of splendid craft, old and new, is processing sedately around the Solent, the sun is shining, and everyone is in a state of patriotic pride.

I met these two fine fellows at the Radio Solent outside broadcast van, and we know all the girls love a sailor, so I press-ganged them into an impromptu photo opportunity. Briefly managing to tear their eyes away from the display of maritime might arrayed before them, they kindly obliged.

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Arriva Solo
Roz Savage
24 Jun 2005, South Coast

So she's not yet in her natural element... the ocean. But she's getting closer. Yesterday I was driven down to Devon by the aptly named Graham Foreshore, a sailing instructor with the Marines, to collect my beautiful boat from the boatbuilder. We brought her back to the South Coast where she will be based for the next few months while I get her fitted out ready to cross the Atlantic.

There's still a huge amount of work to be done before she's ready, but there are many willing hands ready to help, so it WILL all get done... somehow!

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Roz Savage
14 Jun 2005, Southampton

'Life is too short to waste time on second-class ambitions. Go for the big ones, even if that means a higher failure rate.'

Bold words, but no less than you would expect from the man described as the world's greatest living explorer. There can't be many deserts, oceans, jungles, poles, mountain ranges or marathons that Sir Ranulph Fiennes hasn't tackled at some point in his lifetime. At the age of 62 he's showing few signs of slowing down - not long ago he ran seven marathons in seven days, and has just returned from an attempt on Everest, thwarted only by a suspected heart problem, clearly heeding his own advice to 'Know when to turn back and live to fight another day. Better to be a live donkey than a dead lion.'

His book, Beyond the Limits, is a bible for anybody wanting to achieve anything in life - be it in business or adventure to personal development. Truly inspiring stuff, yet down-to-earth and practical too. Recommended.

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