Nicole Bilodeau
For photography, b-roll and interview requests, please contact Nicole Bilodeau, Program Director for Roz Savage.


Second Stage of Three-Part Voyage Inspires Action on Climate Change

TARAWA, REPUBLIC OF KIRIBATI—September 6, 2009—Roz Savage, ocean rower and environmental campaigner, made landfall today on Tarawa, a small atoll in the Republic of Kiribati, successfully completing stage 2 of her epic bid to become the first woman in history to row solo row across the Pacific Ocean. She launched this stage of her voyage on May 24, from Honolulu, Hawaii. She spent 104 days at sea, bringing the total number of days alone at sea for her Pacific crossing to 203 days. Savage uses her ocean rowing adventures to help inspire action on environmental issues.

Savage posted Twitter updates from her satellite phone for each the last 10 miles as she neared the finish line, providing fans around the world with a thrilling conclusion to a very exciting adventure. She wrote, “Into the last 10 miles. Quick chat with mum on satphone. She’s excited!” Two hours later, she tweeted, “7 miles has never seemed so far… sun is scorching hot now.” Upon arrival she wrote, “ARRIVED!!! Exhausted but very, very happy. Crack open the bubbly and toast the health of the planet.”

Savage was welcomed by hundreds of people at Betio Wharf on South Tarawa, where children greeted her with flower leis and local performers honored Savage with traditional songs and dances. Community elders of thanked Savage for bringing awareness to the issue of climate change, particularly on behalf of especially vulnerable low-lying islands and atolls, such as Tarawa.

“What a spectacular welcome – I’m so delighted to be here in Kiribati and to meet the wonderful people of Tarawa. Being here is especially poignant for me, knowing that this land and the people who live here are some of the earliest and most seriously impacted by the devastating effects of climate change. I promise to carry their story with me and hope that by sharing this adventure, people around the world will feel compelled to take actions in their own lives to reduce harmful carbon emissions.”

Savage’s voyage consists of three stages, each with its own environmental message. In Summer 2008, she became the first woman ever to row solo from California to Hawaii. Her 2,700-mile, 99-day journey took her through the outskirts of the North Pacific Garbage Patch. During the first stage of the row, she encouraged people to cut back on their use of disposable plastic bottles, cups and bags, thereby reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.

Savage’s journey this year from Hawaii to Tarawa targeted climate change. She is a United Nations Climate Hero, and this December Savage will travel to Copenhagen where delegates from around the world will gather to negotiate a new global agreement on climate change. Savage hopes to share video testimonials from the people she meets in Tarawa with world leaders at the Copenhagen summit, highlighting the critical importance of immediate and aggressive action on reducing global carbon emissions.

The third, and final, stage of Roz’s solo row across the Pacific will take place in 2010, and will take her all the way to Australia.

Roz is a British ocean rower, author, motivational speaker and environmental campaigner, who uses her trans-oceanic rowing voyages to inspire a movement towards sustainable living at both grassroots and global levels.

Roz first gained international attention in 2005, when after 11 years as a management consultant, she embarked upon a new life of adventure by rowing solo across the Atlantic. Her unlikely transformation from office worker to ocean rower, described with humor and soul-baring honesty in her blogs, captivated and inspired a worldwide audience, transcending barriers of language, culture, color and creed. Encouraged by this positive response, Roz continues to use her seafaring adventures to motivate others to take action on environmental issues and to face their own life challenges.

Pull Together is the theme for stage two of Roz’s row across the Pacific Ocean. This year her environmental mission is to take action on CO2 levels by inspiring people to walk more and drive less.

“The climate change crisis we face requires immediate action from every level of our global society, but the problem is so grave that many people are overwhelmed and simply don’t know what they can do to help,” says Roz. “That’s why I aim to inspire people to choose simple solutions that cost nothing and are easy to work into the busy routines of their daily lives. You might feel like one little choice doesn’t make a big difference, that it’s just a drop in the ocean. But those little choices and actions add up quickly – and they do make a world of difference.”

In consultation with distinguished environmentalists, government leaders and outreach specialists, Roz conceived an initiative to tackle the issue at both grassroots and international levels. Calling upon her supporters around the world to Pull Together, Roz issued a challenge: match her 10,000 oar strokes a day with 10,000 steps a day. An easy way for people to track their steps is to use a pedometer. The idea is to substitute walking for driving, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Roz is an avid technology enthusiast and enjoys sharing her adventures through a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. She regularly blogs and records podcasts, delighting her audience and allowing them to vicariously share and experience her thrilling adventures. The RozTracker is an interactive map that supporters use to track Roz’s progress across the Pacific and see exactly where she was when she posted blog updates, photos, videos and podcasts.

Several key partners have recently joined Roz in her mission to take action on climate change. They include:

  • United Nations Environment Programme: provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Roz was recently named a UNEP Climate Hero.
  • The Climate Project: founded by Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. TCP aims to increase awareness of the climate crisis at a grassroots level worldwide, and supports advocacy and activism to combat the climate crisis.
  • Blue Planet Foundation: a Hawaii-based organization that seeks to change the world’s energy culture, to raise global awareness in order to develop and adopt practical programs to implement clean, efficient, and renewable energy and to create a global response to the increasingly urgent climate crisis.
  • an international campaign dedicated to creating an equitable global climate treat that lowers CO2 below 350 parts per million, the number that scientists say is the safe number we need to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.