HMS Southampton made a brief rendezvous this week with solo British oarswoman, Roz Savage, the only solo female entrant in the Atlantic Rowing Race. Savage was in good spirits and accepting nothing but a Valentine card from the crew.
The warship and rowing boat made their rendezvous 750 miles east of Antigua in mid-ocean in sea state 4 with 17 knot winds.
Roz Savage is the only solo female taking part in the Atlantic Rowing Race. After an eventful voyage during which her boat "Sedna Solo" has been rolled upside down by huge waves, she is now almost three ? quarters of the way across the Atlantic and likely to finish in Antigua in early March. The Royal Navy has been helping support Roz in this epic voyage, including providing Roz's with some challenging training prior to her departure.
HMS Southampton, meanwhile, is on her way home after a 6 month deployment to West Africa, the Falkland Islands and most recently the Caribbean, where the Ship was involved in two search and rescue episodes and a record 3 Ãâ€šÃ‚Â½ tonnes cocaine drug-bust. The Ship had been keeping in touch with the race website and had planned on the rendezvous for some time.
During the brief meeting the warship Second in Command, Lt Cdr Ben Carroll handed Roz a Valentine's card with a goodwill message from the crew. He went across in the boat to deliver the card along with some messages from other well-wishers who had Emailed the Ship.
"The race rules do not allow us to provide any support to her," he said "but no one can complain about a Valentine card. We did offer her the Captain's bath and some Radox, which she seemed quite tempted by but had to turn down!" "Roz appeared in good heart, even though she's got another month to go," said Leading Seaman Danny Nichol, the Southampton's boat coxswain. "We all wish her the best of luck ? she's very brave."
Commander Rob Vitali, the ship's captain, expressed the Royal Navy's admiration for a fellow seafarer, "she epitomizes many of the qualities we admire and develop in our own sailors ? self-belief, courage, and the will to succeed"
HMS Southampton is based in Portsmouth and arrives home at the end of this month. (RN).