British woman Sarah Outen the first to row from Japan to Alaska

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 4:46am

A British woman has completed a 150-day journey rowing solo from Japan to Alaska, local officials and an expedition spokeswoman said as the adventurer rested at one of the US state's remote Aleutian Islands.

Sarah Outen, 28, became the first person in recorded history to row from Japan to Alaska, expedition project manager Melanie Johnson said.

Outen reached the island of Adak late on Monday, said Elaine Smiloff, a city council member from the community 2,900 kilometres southwest of Anchorage.

Adak's residents rolled out the welcome mat for Outen, who is on a multi-year mission to travel around the world using her own body's power.

About half of the 320 residents greeted Outen when she reached the shore, said Smiloff, who is the community's former harbourmaster. "It was pouring down rain. But we were happy to see her," Smiloff said on Tuesday .

Outen is seeking to encircle the globe by bicycle, kayak and rowing boat. She launched the 32,000-kilometre effort, called "London2London," on April 1, 2011. That year, she travelled 17,700 kilometres by kayak and bicycle across Europe and Asia to Japan, her website said.

The expedition hit a snag last year, when her effort to cross the north Pacific was halted by a severe storm that forced her to return to London for nine months of training and recovery.

In her latest journey, Outen arrived on US soil in Adak just as weather conditions in the area were deteriorating, Smiloff said. "It's going to get worse in the evening and that's why it's so nice to have her in," Smiloff said.

Outen traversed more than 3,220 kilometres from Japan to Adak, according to her website. She stopped within 800 metres of land and had to be towed the rest of the way to the island because of winds and current pushing her toward rocks, her website's blog section said.

Outen was not available for a telephone interview on Tuesday, because she was exhausted, Johnson said in an e-mail. Outen is using the expedition to raise money for four charities, according to her website.

Outen was also the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Mauritius, accomplishing that feat in 2009, Johnson said.