Romuald rowing ahead of the Caribbean pack

Local 3POLISH adventurer Romuald Koperski set off for the Caribbean from Las Galletas on 31st October in his one-man rowing boat, Pianista.

If well-wishers thought he must be mad to try such a feat, they might like to consider another 13 other boats beginning a similar route on 14th December, from La Gomera, in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

The Canaries is a popular departure point for the Atlantic dangers. The last two mass challenges rowed in 2013 and 2015 with almost double the number of entrants.

This year, the San Sebastian port line-up will include solos, pairs, trios, and fours, but ocean rowing-boats aren’t exactly roomy, with a sleeping space at one end and a storage space at the other.

Multi-person crews have the luxury of splitting shifts between rowing and sleeping. But singles have to anchor up, set a warning beacon and try to doze off without thinking about huge, passing ships.

Britain is well represented this year in the Atlantic Challenge. Teams from England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland include a four-women crew in Atlantic Endeavour.

Charity is the driving force for all crews, the last two races raising 3.3m euros.

Romuald´s independent challenge is for a charity which helps Polish children living in Siberia. The frozen wasteland is close to his heart because he has organised car rallies and led hikes across the icy terrain.

On the water, bad weather stopped him part or the way into a Japan-to-San Francisco row. But, not to be denied, he has lined up another crack at it next year.

It´s about endurance rather than speed for Romuald, but the young guns

tackling the Atlantic Challenge have records on their minds.

The last winner clocked 37 days, 9 hours and 12 minutes before crossing the finish line, 3,000 nautical miles away in Antigua. And anything under 45 days earns entry to an honorary club.

The name of Romuald’s boat, Pianista, refers to another talented area of his life. You can find him in the Guinness Book Of Records for the longest PianoForte concert, which spanned 103 hours in 2010.

And just for good measure, Romuald is a published writer of books about his adventures, and a fully-qualified airline pilot.

Those non-sea-based achievements may not be of practical help on his long row, but they certainly are a mark of his character and determination.

You can follow his row at in English.

As for the next wave of oarsmen, some of the distinctive rowing boats will be passing through Los Cristianos port when they are shipped and ferried over to La Gomera for the start of their adventure.

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