From the Flying Carrot

RSS Feed

Monday, November 9, 2009'Tenacity on The Tasman' Complete!

At last after six months of sorting through endless crashing waves, seascapes, rowing scenes and interviews we have finally finished the edit of 'Tenacity on the Tasman'. The film which documents the first attempt of the Virgin Global Row expedition.

The film has been received well by the few that have seen it so far and just a few little tweaks and technical rejigs and it will be ready for the big screen.

Tickets for the premiere on the 19th November 7.30pm are now selling fast so please book yours online or send a cheque to secure your seats.
After the film we will have a Q&A session before heading across Leicester Sq. for a drinks reception and after party in Orchid bar.

George and I both much look forward to seeing you on the 19th and having a drink with you in the Orchid bar after the screening.

For the trailer, tickets and more info please visit the film website -

Wednesday, August 12, 2009Film Premiere: 'Tenacity on the Tasman'

Hello and firstly apologies for the long silence. We have been busy here tying up all the loose ends left after the Global Row Mk1. I am still looking at what the next step may be and whether the attempt goes ahead again in a solo capacity or with a larger crew. This and several other water and land based adventures are on the cards.

In the meantime George and I have been busy sorting through the footage from the voyage and have begun work on the film ' Tenacity on the Tasman ' which charts the preparation of the voyage, funding, boat construction etc all the way through the time at sea and the final stages of landfall in NZ.

I managed to secure some exciting footage of the time at sea some of which can be seen in our trailer at

The premiere will be screeened at the leicester Square Odeon in Central London on 19th November. It would be great to see as many of you there as possible as well as at the after party in Orchid just nearby, and to meet some of you who I hope enjoyed following the voyage.

Thursday, May 7, 2009Thank You

A belated thank you to everyone who followed the Virgin Global Row and all those who sent messages of support during the voyage. It was all hugely appreciated and helped to get through the trickier parts of the trip.

Thank you also of course to all our fantastic sponsors who have been phenonmenally supportive throughout, especially when we made the decision to suspend the voyage in NZ.

and an enormous thank you to all who have worked so hard on the project to date in an astounding variety of capacites - from accountants to engineers to crane drivers!

I think one of the most wonderful parts of the project is the tremendous goodwill it seems to have generated and the incredible kindness, hospitality and generosity we have been shown wherever we have been.

The project may be suspended for now but for sure it will return, perhaps in a slightly different guise but return it will - the challlenge to row the first boat around the world remains!

An enormous debt of gratitude is also due to George Olver (Manager of expedition operations, logistics, commnications, shore team, crew, film maker, etc....) who has worked tirelessly on all facets of the project, overworked and underpaid would be an understatement, he has been a brick thoroughout the project, bringing his superior organisation skills, his technical know how and a certain glamour thorugh his aerial pursuits! George coordinated the complexities of building the website between 4 different countries and is largely responsible for how you could follow the voyage. Not only was George busy in the office but he was also happy on the ocean wave; venturing out from Tasmania on Blizzard and then rather more dramatically aboard the fishing vessel Shangrila to hook up the tow in.
Already he has been talking excitedly of plans to put together a film of the voyage thus far.....

So thanks to all involved and watch this space for updates on projects and the upcoming film.

a thousand thanks, Olly.

Thoughts on Terra Firma

I have now been back on land around 10 days and it is quite surprising how quickly things get back to normal. I am sitting in the Virgin Lounge in Sydney with George, writing this update about to head back to England. It does not seem long ago that we were in this airport heading out to meet the FC in Tasmania.

On arriving in Bluff we set about deciding what to do with the FC. Our decision was made for us partly by Customs, to who we would have had to pay $92,000 in tax unless she left the country. So we have been busy preparing her to travel back to the UK. Pumping out the water, unloading and cleaning her before loading her into a container.

Whilst it is good to be back on land the dissapointment is still enormous that the project ended so soon. But i suppose that was always a likely possibility given the ambitious nature of the task. I hope to now use that disappointment as a fuel to drive on and put the next project together to complete the same goal. So once we have a proper proposal in order we will speak to all our sponsors and have another go once we are fully prepared and ready.

But for the present life returns to normality. Get home, get the FC and equipment home, regroup and move forward from there. I have plenty of ideas for new trips which i thought of on the Tasman and we will hopefully use this website as a window to follow those future trips too.... more details later!


Boat Coming Home

Packing the boat in Bluff to ship back to the UK.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009a chaange of circumstance......

Apologies for the radio silence,  We've had a bit on the last couple of days.   I think thw last report said how things weren't looking too good to make a landing - and so they were not.  Having been approx 12nm off Big Moggy island and things were looking good for an approach iinto doughboy bay with a good E drift.  That would of course have been too easy. The weather did not favour us.  The promised N wind arrived and coupled with a strong S flowing tide/current we started flying S at about 2kts (bloody quick). Unfortunately the current didn't slacken and the wind didn't drop and we kept moving quickly S.  I had  been met by the  Fishing vessel Shangri La who were to  standby and they  had gone to shelter in the Islands.   After another 24hrs drifting South and seen the land fall away again we were about 30nm due south of the S cape of Stewart Island. At this stage I made the decision to pull the plug and set up the tow  with Shangri La.  The weather  looked bad for at least the next week, we would need about 3 days at least of steady S winds to reach back up to stewart I  and  then  as we got closer in our ability to navigate into one of the  few  safe coves would be largely down to lady luck and the caprice of the  wind  and currents.  Thus another dissapointing decision was made.  Perhaps I could have stayed out there and waited for the  winds  to come good - maybe they would, maybe they wouldnt .  Anyway the decision  was made and I radioed Shangri La who steamed down about 25nm to my position. They found me rolling around in 40kts of wind and about a 4m swell so it was pretty sporting to transfer the tow line but some pretty driving and work with the lines by Rewi saw us hooked up and  barreling through the swells up towards Stewart Island at an unprecedented 8kts!   After about 8 hours and  only one broken tow line later we came into Pegasus Harbour on the SE side of Stewart Island.  We came in under darkness but the sheer rock islands could be made out in the Shangri La's powerful lights.   The Carrot was brought alongside and beer was produced, I met George, Rewi, Salts and Ma, the crew on Sangri La as I stumbled onto her rather more solid deck.  Rewi pulled out an incredible tea of Roast lamb and veggies - best ever...  What an awesome arrival the shangri la more than lived up to her name.  Supper came and went and a few beers and  then  about 3am crawled into the comfiest bunk ever which didn't try and throw you out .   Then yestrday morning anchors up and we stamed all day to arrive at Bluff about 1600.  I was relieved to  see  there  were not too many people to  greet us and we  passed off a fairly low key arrival into Bluff fishing wharf.  After the  joys  of form  filling for customs and MAFF we were cleared in to  NZ annd set off for a shower.... Anyway rough fill in of  what's  gone on.   A    little  colour to add to  this  dry update to  follow  later........ Land's alright....   

25 NM South.

April 28th. Rewi (skipper), Salts and I steamed out to the FC, dropped off some fresh fruit and other goodies to give Olly a bit of fuel for the final push into land (see pic) . Olly keen to push on to try and make landfall but with persitent northely wind determined to push him south of Stewart Island,this might not be possible.

We steamed back into Murderers Cove to take shelter away from building seas. Murderers Cove is on a Maori Island off the south tip of Stewart Island where Rewi's family live. Maori blood is a pre-requisite to step ashore, so a privilege in itself. Turns out Rewi Bull (Shangri La Skipper) has a large family, so many Bulls running around catching (by hand) the traditional dish, Mutton Bird (See Pic) delicious! Ben Amory you would love this set-up!

Called Olly early morning to discover that he is 25 NM to the south of Stewart Island with no sign of a Southerly to blow him north, safe landing looking impractical. Full steam ahead for FC preparing to rope and tow. With 40 knots and building pretty wet ride roping the FC could be a bit of fun! Eyes peeled for Olly Hicks and the FC.

Rewi at the helm.

Calling from Murderers Cove

George Olver

Post Archives

Ask Olly a question

Ask Olly a question -- and cast your vote for which questions he should answer.

Submit a Question

Support Olly

Contribute to help Olly's expedition.
This trip would not be possible without your continued help.

Grab the feed to receive updates

Add Olly's News RSS feed to your RSS reader, or add your email to be mailed all the latest news as it happens.