Gijs Vandenbogaerde

Flemings plan to row across the Atlantic

Next week Gijs Vandenbogaerde, an engineer from the West Flemish city of Kortrijk, will set off with two friends on what will be the journey of a lifetime. They plan to row 7,000 kilometres across the Atlantic. All being well they should arrive in Miami, Florida in two months’ time. 

The boat that Gijs and his friends will cross the Atlantic in is high-tech to say the least. It has been designed so that it goes back upright if it capsizes. Everything on board has been designed to make the trip as environmentally friendly as it can possibly be. 

It is equipped with solar panels that will be used to provide electricity for a desalination machine that will ensure that the three Trans-Atlantic rowers have drinking water. 

It will be an arduous journey with the rowers working in 2-hour shifts. Gijs Vandenbogaerde told Radio 2 West Flanders that he and his friends will row in pairs with the person that isn’t rowing being able to sleep or prepare food. The three rowers will be taking 1,500 portions of freeze-dried food with them for their voyage. Living for two months in a surface area of just 7M² will prove a real test of the three rowers’ friendship.

Koen De Gezelle from Ghent (East Flanders) will captain the Trans-Atlantic rowing trip. Mr De Gezlle has been building boats for 20 years and is specialised in seafaring rowing boats. As well as seeing the voyage as an opportunity to put his boat-building company in the spotlight rowing the Atlantic is something that he has dreamed of doing for many years.

The third man on the boat will be Jelle Veyt. Mr Veyt is doing the Seven Summits Challenge in which you climb the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents. However, Jelle Veyts wishes to reach the mountains he intends to climb under his own steam. When he climbed Mount Everest, he cycled to the Hilmalayas. He is currently cycling to Portugal ready to set sail for America next week. Once in America he will climb a mountain in Alaska.

Gijs Vandenbogaerde

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