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Solo rower bails on Antarctica mission

Published: 2:42PM Thursday April 30, 2009 Source: ONE News

An english adventurer has arrived in Bluff after cutting short his attempt to row solo around Antarctica.

But a disappointed Oliver Hicks is vowing to try again.

Sixty knot winds, six metre seas, and a seven metre rowboat called the flying carrot - it's not everyone's idea of fun.

"All the oceans have been rowed now, one at a time, or whatever, but no one's been down in the southern ocean, well, not successfully," says Solo Rower Oliver Hicks.

Twenty-seven year old Hicks planned to circumnavigate Antarctica in his $500,000 boat by himself.

"It's quite uncomfortable to start with, but by the end, it's like a palace in the back there, it's warm, it's dry, got everything you need," he says.

He left Tasmania in January but just a few weeks ago decided to call the mission off and head for New Zealand.

"It's a huge disappointment that we had to stop so far in, so soon in, but yeah, deficiencies with this sort of boat design really," he says.

He ended up rowing twice the distance, 1200 kilometres in all.

"I would've been about 5 years at sea if we'd carried on and tried to get all the way round with the boat as it is," he says.

Bluff fisherman, Rewi Bull, towed Hicks back to the mainland.

"People think we're mad doing this, but then you go out there and see the fulla in the middle of nowhere, in a 24 foot boat rowing! Good luck to him," Bull says.

And this intrepid traveller is already dreaming of his next attempt.

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