The solo rowing journey of Zirk Botha is well ahead of schedule, however the weather conditions are versatile out at sea and could change any moment. Picture: Supplied
The solo rowing journey of Zirk Botha is well ahead of schedule, however the weather conditions are versatile out at sea and could change any moment. Picture: Supplied

Zirk Botha well ahead of schedule on solo rowing journey from Cape to Rio

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Cape Town - The solo rowing journey of Zirk Botha is well ahead of schedule, however the weather conditions are versatile out at sea and could change any moment.

The temperature out at sea where Botha is currently sailing is 21.6 degree celsius. The temperature inside his cabin is at room temperature or warmer due to wind not able to go in.

Member of FleetMon, a vessel tracking App, Schalk van Bosch, who will also perform weekly reports of Botha’s movements, said: “Botha is getting swells from the front now and his current speed is 1.9knts which is 3.52km. I am sure his cabin is hot because of the sun on it the entire day, his cabin is water tight so no cold or any wind will be able to go in.”

Bosch said that Botha is way ahead of his schedule but it is very possible for weather conditions to change in a blink of an eye. Due to the fact that there are currently swells in front of him, it might be a bit of a challenge.

“A big challenge will be if the wind changes direction that he is facing, it could be difficult to keep his current course and have to change his heading which could consume some time,” he said.

Botha is now 24 days into his three-month row to Rio de Janeiro and is now off St Helena island, heading west towards Brazil. He is crossing the Greenwich meridian line and will not stop at St Helena Island.

Botha said: “The design of my boat has been crucial. An esteemed Naval architect had new plans for a closed cell foam Open Class design ocean rowing boat available. This design was well suited to the prevailing weather anticipated, provided there were no seasonal anomalies. I decided, based on historic weather data, that the Open Class would be a good choice.”

He said during the extreme weather experienced, the boat has proven to be very seaworthy. At no stage was there fear of the boat rolling over.

Cape Argus

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