South African Zirk Botha achieved a new world record by crossing the South Atlantic in 70 days, a 7,200-kilometer rowing journey from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.
59-year-old Zirk Botha set a new world record by arriving in Rio de Janeiro this Sunday, after a 7,200-kilometer rowing journey from Cape Town, which made him the first solo sailor to cross the South Atlantic in 70 days.
Botha completed his transatlantic adventure without any assistance in his boat ‘Ratel’, built by himself and which was his home for the more than two months of travel.
After two years of preparation, he set sail on December 5 from Cape Town, and this Sunday morning he arrived at the Cabo Frio Yacht Club on the Rio de Janeiro coast.
“When I started planning this trip two years ago, people said he was crazy. I want to encourage everyone to dream big, dream big, and never let anyone put you off. Life is a great adventure, ”said Botha, upon arrival.
To set the record, the South African rowed an average of fourteen hours a day, with interspersed rest breaks and under heavy conditions.
“While I had almost perfect weather conditions to facilitate a record crossing, it was intense, with only two quiet days during the entire journey. The unforgiving nature of the weather has been physically and mentally exhausting. I wasn’t ready for that kind of challenge, ”he said.
The hours of sleep were taken in a waterproof compartment inside the boat where solar panels were also suitable that provided the South African with the energy he needed during the trip.
On the journey, he was in charge of desalinating the water and his diet was based on dehydrated food. He had provisions for 120 days in case something unforeseen arose that delayed his trip, but he also fished to supplement his protein sources. In total he lost about 10 kilograms of weight