When someone talks about going
from New York to London itís usually by plane. For
Andreas Rommel it will be by ocean row boat. Itís his goal
to row across the Atlantic from west to east, starting right here in New
York harbor. Talk about taking the red eye.
ExWeb had Andreas on the phone this week and got some valuable insight
into his expedition.
ExWeb: You grew up in the south of France and started sailing at a
very young age. When did you get into ocean rowing?
Andreas: To be honest I havenít been rowing for very long, though I have
solo crossed the Atlantic twice by sailboat. Iím into every kind of
water sport and I was looking for a new challenge.
ExWeb: What kind of training are you doing to prepare for your
Andreas: Mainly Iím training in the gym. I didnít have a coach until
just recently, so Iím just getting into the routine. The bottom line is
that you have to be fit but itís purely mental once youíre out there.
ExWeb: What kind of concerns do you have with crossing the North
Atlantic, what makes it different from other oceans?
Andreas:The waves are not regular in the North Atlantic. There is not a
constant swell as in the south. It is summed up in the statistics. 5
people have died trying to do what I am going to attempt and only 10
have been successful out of maybe 30 who have tried.
ExWeb: You have to have a lot of faith in your boat for something
like this. What can you tell me about her? Has she got a name yet?
Andreas: No, I havenít christened her yet. I have a daughter, Georgia; I
would like to name the boat after her. But, if something happens to me
out at seaÖIt just wouldnít be right. But I have faith in the boat. Itís
the best technology, cutting edge design, created by Spud Roswell and
Justin Adkin, the guys who made Queensgate. But mine is the latest
ExWeb: What kind of gear will you bring? For entertainment,
research, communication, what kind of tech?
Andreas: I will have two mp3 players but downloading 3 to 4 months worth
of music onto iTunes is going to cost a fortune. I have also outfitted
the boat with four hi-definition video cameras, the guys from Extreme
Tech set this up. I would like to make a documentary of my experience. I
found a production crew in London, real funky, like MTV style ideas. If
you have good material it will make a good film. The element of danger
the North Atlantic has almost promises an exciting documentary.
ExWeb:I noticed that you are bringing some very spiritual books
with you, very heavy stuff, will you have time to read them?
Andreas:I really love to read and would never go anywhere without a few
books, I donít know how much time I will have though. This is a quest.
It will be me, myself and I with my demons. It is purely a personal
Andreas Rommel (Germany) plans to become the
first German in history to row Atlantic W-E from New York (USA) to UK.
Departure is scheduled for beginning of July 2004.
Photo of Andreas Rommel courtesy of globalrow.com