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


Interview with German Atlantic W to E rower

April 4th 2004


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 crossing?

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 design.

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 challenge.

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


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