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Turkish ocean rower eyes new record

Guinness World Record holder Erden Eruc aims to be 1st person to cross Pacific Ocean by rowboat

Dildar Baykan   | 05.06.2021
Turkish ocean rower eyes new record

WASHINGTON

Erden Eruc, the holder of 15 Guinness world records, hopes to be the first person in history to row across the Pacific Ocean, from North America to Asia.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an interview, Eruc said that in two weeks, he planned to depart from Crescent City, California in a rowboat for Hong Kong, where he aims to make landfall in March 2022.

After climbing to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko in Australia with his wife Nancy, he rowed to Madagascar via the Indian Ocean and then on to Mozambique to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011.

'Life is short'

Eruc recounted that he later returned to the town of Bodega Bay in California to complete his circumnavigation attempt.

"I came back to the USA in Louisiana after visiting Namibia, Venezuela, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico while the whole journey took five years and 11 days," he said.

The 59-year-old said that after the loss of his close friend Goran Kropp, who fell while rock climbing together in September 2002, he told himself that "life is short."

"On the plane returning from Kropp's funeral, I drew a map of the world, marking the highest peak on each of the six continents. I told myself that I'd go to these peaks by muscle power as he climbed Everest," he said.

Sea-borne plastic

Eruc underlined that his journey would be important both for achieving his personal goals and raising awareness to the crisis that nature is experiencing due to human activities.

"The plastic problem in the seas is a big issue. We must reduce the use of plastic and ensure that plastic doesn't touch the seas," he said.

Eruc was born in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1961 as the son of a military officer and later came to Turkey as a baby. He went to the US after completing a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Bogazici University in Istanbul, where he also received a master's degree in business administration in 1999.

Breaking a total of 15 Guinness world records, Eruc is listed in the 2009, 2012, 2014, 2017 & 2018 Guinness Book of Records, including as the first to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world by human power; the first to row across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

He was also listed for rowing solo the greatest distance across the oceans -- over 33,000 miles, as well as the longest distance across the Atlantic Ocean, the most total career days as a solo ocean rower with 844 days and the longest career distance rowed on the oceans with almost 29,000 nautical miles (over 33,000 miles).

* Writing by Emre Asikci in Istanbul

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