Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Woman sets out on Pacific adventure

British adventurer Sarah Outen described herself as 'an ocean girl at heart'

A British adventurer has begun her second attempt to become the first person to row solo from Japan to Canada.

Sarah Outen's first venture, in May 2012, was cut short by ferocious Tropical Storm Mawar, which battered her boat Gulliver, causing it irreparable damage and making it capsize more than 20 times, so she had no choice but to call for a rescue.

The attempt is part of the 27-year-old's wider London2London: Via the World expedition, which will see her row, cycle and kayak a continuous loop of the planet.

Ms Outen, from Rutland, set out at 8am British time on Saturday from Choshi in Japan.

If successful, she will become the first woman to row solo across the North Pacific Ocean from west to east and the first person to row solo from Japan to Canada.

Just three boats have rowed west to east across the North Pacific - all from Japan to the USA. Many attempts have failed.

The 4,500 nautical mile journey will mean between 150 and 200 days alone at sea for Ms Outen in her seven metre ocean-going rowing boat, Happy Socks.

She said: "I am an ocean girl at heart. I love being so close to the water and living to the rhythms of the wild. The energy out there is magic and the dynamics are so exciting.

"There are no guarantees of success and it will take every ounce of physical and mental strength and a good dollop of luck to make it across safely. But I believe I have the best possible chance - physically and mentally I am strong and determined to give this my best shot."

Ms Outen is sharing her stories from the row and the wider expedition, which began in April 2011, through her website and social media to inspire young people to follow their dreams and believe that anything is possible. She is also hoping to raise more than £100,000 for her four chosen charities - CoppaFeel!, The Jubilee Sailing Trust, MNDA and WaterAid.

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