The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records



By Joe Hildebrand, PA News

September 19, 2002

Andrew Halsey today announced his plans to spend up to nine months alone at sea as he makes a second attempt to become the first solo disabled rower to cross the Pacific Ocean non-stop.

Mr Halsey, who has epilepsy, was at the Royal Geographical Society in London to launch the attempt officially and to show off his re-equipped ocean rowboat, "Le Shark Brittany Rose". The 44-year-old adventurer, who will face storms and the menace of sharks, was the first disabled person to row the Atlantic in 1997, suffering two epileptic seizures during the voyage. He is also planning to cross the Indian Ocean to complete a solo circumnavigation.

Launching his Pacific expedition today, Mr Halsey, from Camden, north London, said that compared to the meticulous preparations, the search for sponsorship and the public appearances, the rowing part should be easy. After I'd done the Atlantic it's just become addictive, he said. It's pleasant... and I don't get any bills out there either.

The former bricklayer has found himself unemployable because of his condition and adventuring has become a full-time occupation. In early November he plans to leave Calleo, Peru, and head for the east coast of Australia in a journey expected to take between six and nine months, depending on the weather. His first attempt to row the Pacific in 2000 ended after more than 6,000 miles and 267 days at sea. He suffered several hurricanes and eventually ran out of food, surviving on a few fish and the occasional passing sea bird before being rescued off Honolulu, Hawaii. It was the biggest disappointment of my life, he said today.

After months of preparations, he said it will be a relief just to hit the water in his 28ft vessel that looks more like a rocket ship than a rowboat and is named after his teenage daughter and sponsor. On board will be a Iridium phone satellite link to the outside world and a water distiller luxuries absent on his earlier attempt. On arrival in Australia he would be looking forward to a nice cup of tea, he said.