Capetonian to row 7,000 km across Atlantic to raise awareness on saving planet

Adventurer Zirk Botha (59), a former navy combat officer, departs from Granger Bay on Saturday morning.

Zirk Botha’s boat is made of foam and laminated with an epoxy coating that gives it a strong, waterproof surface. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A Capetonian is rowing across the Atlantic and hopes it will draw attention to the issue of sustainable development.

Adventurer Zirk Botha (59), a former navy combat officer, departs from Granger Bay on Saturday morning.

He plans on rowing 7,000 kilometres to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in less than a year in a boat he built himself.

That and encouraging people to care about the planet are some of the reasons why Botha is taking on the mammoth adventure.

He's an experienced adventurer and has been preparing physically for two years.

However, that's not the hardest part.

“The biggest challenge will not be the physical one, it will be the more of a mental one. Being on my own, for 100 days at sea will be mentally challenging.”

Botha’s boat is made of foam and laminated with an epoxy coating that gives it a strong, waterproof surface.

“We built this boat on the same design principal as a lifeboat. If the boat does rollover, it will self-roll, it has 11 water-tight compartments, so it will not sink easily.”

It features a desalinator, safety equipment, radios and satellite trackers and all food onboard will be dehydrated to reduce its weight and volume.

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