High winds confine solo round-britain rower to Arbroath Harbour.
Fundraiser in bid to row solo around Great Britain forced into harbour by weather and denied delicacy due to rules
A solo round-britain rower stranded by high winds in Arbroath harbour has admitted his frustration over not being able to enjoy a famous Smokie is fuelling his determination to get the epic challenge back on course.
Andy Hodgson set off from London Bridge in May on the Spirit of Ahab, a seven-metre offshore rowing boat whose tiny confines are his home for the unsupported journey of more than 2,000 miles.
Remarkably, the Surrey 36-year-old is a rowing novice, having never set foot on a boat before deciding to take on one of the world’s toughest endurance rowing feats to raise £10,000 for the RNLI and mental health charity Mind.
After almost 120 days on the oars, high winds forced Andy to seek shelter in Arbroath harbour at the weekend, where he looks likely to remain for another couple of days. But the rules of his challenge prevent his coming ashore or accepting any outside assistance, meaning the offer of an Arbroath Smokie has had to be turned down.
Despite his disappointment over the delay and having to pass up the chance to taste the famous Angus delicacy, Andy has praised the “fantastic” welcome he has received.
“Out of the 116 days so far I have maybe had 16 where the conditions have been very difficult but safety is the most important thing and although the weather may seem nice, I just can’t take a chance with the winds.
“I have all my food in dried form on the boat and a desalination unit for water so the hardest thing about being in harbour is passing up on the generosity of so many people because of the rules of the challenge.
“This is a wasted week, which is very frustrating, and it’s also my first visit to Arbroath so I can’t believe I’m not allowed a Smokie.”
He added: “This has been an amazing experience – it’s the culmination of two years’ work and has been thrilling and terrifying at the same time.”
Arbroath harbour master Bruce Fleming said: “We’ve been pleased to be involved in his adventure in some small way and to offer him shelter in these few days.”
Andy Hodgson will be staying in Arbroath Harbour for a few more days.