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NZ's solo Atlantic rower and Christmas dinner

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

While we tuck into a Christmas dinner of turkey and ham, spare a thought for New Zealander Isaac Giesen, who is attempting to become the first New Zealander to row the Atlantic solo.

In a text back to his father, Theo Giesen, he said he was planning some fresh fish "I’ll put a line out in the morning", then maybe dried meat with some pickles. Dessert will be tinned mangos and fruit salad.

Rowing under the name The Blue Rower, 25- year old Giesen is taking part in the Talikers Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, a solo crossing of the Atlantic. His aim is to be the first person from the Southern Hemisphere to row the Atlantic twice in 12 months, having completed it as part of a team earlier this year.

This year’s race started on December 12 from the Canary Islands and will finish 2600 nautical miles (4815kms) away in the West indies. As of 9am NZT today, he had rowed 474 nautical miles (877kms) and has 2152 nautical miles (3985kms) left and is expected to reach Antigua in the West Indies at the end of February.

A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth, and is equal to one minute of latitude. It is slightly more than a statute (land measured) mile (1 nautical mile = 1.1508 statute miles or 1.852 kilometres).

His motivation for the race is to raise money and awareness for depression (see notes below).

Isaac aimed to row in the Atlantic Challenge last year but his boat was not ready, and, therefore, he did not meet the race pre requirement hours in the boat and the weather, hence he had to compete as part of a team.

This quickly unveiled the stresses of the challenge as two of the six-person crew in the Portugal to Cuba crossing jumped ship in the Canary Islands.

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