Cape Town to Rio: Saffa to embark on 7 000km solo Atlantic row


– A former naval combat officer and adventure racer, Zirk Botha, will undertake a solo row from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro in support of the environment and climate change

– The Atlantic crossing will require Botha to row completely unassisted for approximately 90 days, over 7 000 kilometres

– For the entire three months, Botha, who works for renewable energy company, will be 100% self-sustaining

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South African Zirk Botha is doing something inspiring to address the issue of climate change. The Capetonian is set to row a whopping 7 000 kilometres from the Mother City to Rio de Janeiro.

His journey – which will last approximately three months – will kick off in December, Briefly.co.za learned.

He said:

“For my solo row from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro I will be 100% self-sustaining for over three months. This provides a perfect showcase to support a message that 100% renewable energy is a practical option.

“In fact, in this case it is the only viable option: I will be totally reliant on solar-charged batteries as the source of electricity for my water maker (desalinator), auto-pilot, safety equipment, radio and satellite communications equipment.

Capetonian Zirk Botha is set to row 7 000 kilometres from the Mother City to Rio. Photo: Supplied
Source: UGC

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Botha works for Juwi Renewable Energies South Africa, a Renewable Energy IPP (REIPP) Procurement Programme initiated by the South African government for utility-scale renewable energy power generation.

He said his job has allowed him to gather knowledge about renewable energy and he now hopes to share it with the world.

The platform that the ocean crossing creates will allow me to drive home the message that the increased uptake of renewable energy is a key solution to the climate change challenges faced by our planet.

Botha’s quest will be far from easy, in fact, more people have climbed Mount Everest than have crossed an ocean in a rowing boat.

The climate change activist will have to face large waves and swells while rowing across the southern Atlantic.

Cape Town to Rio: Saffa to embark on 7000km solo Atlantic row

Botha is an avid adventure racer, competing in many multi-day non-stop events that comprised trail running, rock climbing, river rafting and mountain biking. Photo: Supplied.
Source: UGC

Botha explained he will row for about 14 hours a day, which would mean it could take him over 100 days to complete the crossing to Rio.

Botha has opened up about the physical effect the journey will have on his body and how he plans on sustaining himself:

“The energy requirements are significant and staying well-hydrated is very important – I will probably consume 10 litres of water and 8 000 calories of food per day. A normal person consumes approximately 2 500 calories a day. Even so, I expect to lose over 12 kilograms crossing the Atlantic.

Cape Town to Rio: Saffa to embark on 7000km solo Atlantic row

Botha served as a Naval Combat Officer in the South African Navy, where he also qualified as a Combat Diver. During his time in the Navy, he completed three Atlantic crossings. Photo: Supplied.
Source: UGC

Meanwhile, in other news, a woman, Zama Philisiwe Zungu, went viral in Women’s Month when photos surfaced online showing her building an additional room on her home.

The 26-year-old inspired South Africans with her skills in construction and she proved women have what it takes to succeed in a man’s world.

Speaking to Briefly.co.za, Zungu opened up about why she became an engineer in the first place and it is all thanks to her father, who works in construction.

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