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

 


Twice-stranded rower to tackle Pacific again

By Ben Hoyle

April 05, 2003

BRITISH rower whose second abortive attempt to cross the Pacific ended on Thursday intends to try a third time, his sister said yesterday. 

Andrew Halsey, 45, was adrift 913 miles from the Galapagos islands when he was rescued by a Panamanian fishing boat. His satellite phone had been cut off and he no longer had enough food and supplies to continue. He is now on the US Coast Guard ship Munro, and due to arrive in Guatemala on April 8. 

Mr Halsey’s sister Amanda, who runs a pub in Colchester, Essex, said that the bricklayer from Camden, North London, who has epilepsy, was fit and well but upset that his boat had had to be cast adrift. 

She added: “Andrew has already said that he intends to build a new boat and have another attempt.” 

Mr Halsey had previously said he would rather die than lose the Britanny Rose, named after his daughter, which was his only asset. He had suffered at least four epileptic seizures during his time at sea but had appeared determined to continue with his voyage. 

He called The Times from his boat on March 9 with a message for critics who had doubted his chances of completing the row. He said: “Leave me alone. I’m having fun. I am good at what I do.” 

In the 128 days since he set out from Callao, Peru, Mr Halsey covered 4,100 miles, about 1,000 miles more than a typical Atlantic crossing, according to the Ocean Rowing Society. But he had been repeatedly caught in strong headwinds and currents that at times drove him in the opposite direction from his target destination in Australia. 

On February 6 he set a new world record for the slowest row in history when he found himself 8,108 miles from Brisbane off the coast of Costa Rica, exactly the same distance from his goal as he had been when he set out 72 days earlier. 

When the end came two days ago he had closed the distance to 7,229 miles, progressing at a soul-destroying average speed of six miles a day. 

In his previous Pacific attempt Mr Halsey spent 267 days at sea, enduring four hurricanes, equipment failure and severe thirst and hunger before a Korean cargo ship rescued him. 

The Ocean Rowing Society backed both attempts, but said yesterday that it would not support any more he might make.

 

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