Zirk Botha set to reach Rio two weeks ahead of schedule
Cape Town - Zirk Botha, 59, a former Naval officer and extreme adventurer, is close to finishing his solo row to Rio and setting a new world record.
Botha, who embarked on his journey rowing from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, last December, is expected to reach his destination port in Rio on Sunday, February 28 - two weeks ahead of schedule.
Botha is rowing to raise awareness about the planet and sustainable development.
According to his team, he has almost reached the Brazilian coastline and is travelling south-west towards the oilfields off the coast.
“Zirk has completed 3750 nautical miles in 65 days and he has less than 240 to go. He has been pushed by huge, stern seas.
“The sea has been quite rough and the winds have been strong. At least the sea is calmer now, but it’s been really tough and I’m looking forward to the end. While I have had near-perfect weather to facilitate a record-breaking crossing, the weather has been intense, with only two calm days over the whole crossing. The relentless nature of the weather has been mentally draining. I wasn’t prepared for that type of challenge,” said Botha.
As Zirk reaches the Brazilian coastline, he has to navigate through fishing areas and the Brazilian oilfields.
“I have to stay away from the fishing banks and watch out for other vessels. The sea conditions tend to get worse over the shallows and there might be fishing vessels in the vicinity. I am passing inshore of the banks, with the north-east from astern. I intend to pass just inshore of the southerly oilfields.”
Botha says he is looking forward to eating fresh, unprocessed food when he reaches land.
As Botha nears the finish at Cabo Frio, outside Rio, locals at the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club in Cabo Frio are preparing to give him a hero’s welcome.