Rower's trip ends with tow into Bluff

After baling out of his round-Antarctica record bid, English solo rower Oliver Hicks has now given up trying to reach Stewart Island and been towed into Bluff by a fishing boat.

Hicks arrived in Bluff this afternoon -- exactly three months after the start of his row from Tasmania -- according to Bluff Fisherman's Shore Station operator Meri Leask.

On Monday, Hicks and his boat the Flying Carrot were 24km west of Stewart Island, with the adventurer adamant he would make land on his own, rather than being towed.

But he complained on his website about a "foul, gale-ridden night" and that horrendously confused waves were crashing into boat from all angles.

"Things not looking at all good, the weather outlook has changed for the worse -- the window I thought we might have had has gone," he said.

While sleeping, he was driven from 20km offshore to about 32km south of Stewart Island.

Mr Hicks started out on January 29 in his 200,000 pound (NZ$504,000) state-of-the-art boat, planning to spend up to 22 months rowing round Antarctica.

He launched from Tasmania because New Zealand maritime authorities said the voyage was too dangerous, and could require rescuers to risk their lives in the Southern Ocean. His slow progress forced him to abandon the journey two weeks ago and make for Stewart Island.

He had blamed the poor performance on the bulkiness of his two-tonne boat.

He was worried about the prospect of unprecedented amount of ice coming from the Ross ice shelf into his planned path into the Southern Ocean.

NZPA