Wednesday, April 7, 1999 Published at 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Rower in 'last big adventure'
Mr Halsey hopes to row non-stop across the Pacific in eight months
A British man who suffers from epilepsy is planning the "last big adventure of the millennium" by rowing single-handedly across the Pacific Ocean.
Andrew Halsey, 41, from London, is planning to complete the epic voyage in eight months.
Mr Halsey, a former bricklayer, will start in mid-May from San Diego in California and aims to arrive in Sydney, Australia, in time to celebrate the millennium.
The crossing is non-stop, which means he will not pause for supplies. A similar attempt claimed the life of British rower Peter Bird in 1996.
The trip will be Mr Halsey's second major ocean row.
In 1997, he successfully completed a solo Atlantic crossing from Santa Cruz in Tenerife to St Lucia in the West Indies.
He will travel in a British-designed boat, the Brittany Rose, which has solar panels so it can be tracked by satellite, as well as mobile communication links.
Harnessed to the boat
Launching his bid at the Royal Geographical Society in London, Mr Halsey said it was a "great challenge", which gave him "goosebumps just thinking about it".
He said he was not worried about his epilepsy.
"I have what are commonly known as grand mal epilepsy seizures, which are fairly violent and I will be spending eight months on my own in the boat," he said.
"But I am not worried because I am so much more relaxed when I am rowing and I do not seem to have so many seizures.
"I will keep myself harnessed to the boat and the boat is self-righting. I am more at risk on land than I am at sea," he said.
'Last big adventure'
Jo Lawrence King, spokeswoman for the National Epilepsy Society, said Mr Halsey was "very clear" about the risks and precautions to take, and society members "applaud him".
Kenneth Crutchlow, executive director of the Ocean Rowing Society, compared the trip to the Breitling round-the-world balloon crossing.
"They said that it was the last big adventure of the century, but we know that it was not.
"This will be the last big adventure, finishing at the beginning of the millennium," he said.
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